For Reel

The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre (1967)
March 15, 2011, 2:13 am
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Roger Corman

As each character is introduced in The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, a narrator seals their fate with a short biographical passage. Earning a reputation as one of the more accurate depictions of the titular massacre, Roger Corman’s rare studio picture is a terrifically shot, albeit mechanical effort. The cast – filled with recognizable faces in supporting roles such as Bruce Dern and Charles Dierkop – is serviceable, however as Al Capone, Jason Robards is too ungrounded to ever establish any emotional complexities within Scarface. His interpretation of Capone is not that he has a short-temper, but that he is in a perpetual state of growling. There are few pleasures to be had, however, including one hilarious sequence in which George Segal viciously pursues Jean Hale over a fur coat. One can only wish that the rest of the film offered that level of reckless spontaneity.

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