Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Stuart Whitman, May Britt, Henry Morgan, Peter Falk, David J. Stewart
Directors: Burt Balaban, Stuart Rosenberg
Genres: Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Based on the shocking, true story of a criminal gang who terrorized Brooklyn for years, and featuring ?excellent performances? (The Film Daily) by a fine cast ? including Peter Falk in an Oscar®-nominated* early role ? Mur... more »
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Punchy crime film from 1960
LGwriter | Astoria, N.Y. United States | 01/30/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is Peter Falk's movie debut and it's a doozy. He plays Abe Reles, a killer with ice water instead of blood in his veins whose favorite instrument to dispatch his victims is an icepick--appropriately enough. He oozes menace--so much so that you can't take your eyes off him when he's on screen and when he's not on screen, you can't wait for him to show up again, even though he's seriously nasty.
The supporting cast is definitely good, but this is Falk's show, no question. In fact, he was nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for this movie. The story is of a contract killer organization, whose name is the movie's title, put together by Louis Lepke in New York in the 1930s. Reles is Murder Inc's top hit man. Made in 1960, this is a tough film that reeks of filmmaking at that time. Although the vintage cars are possibly the only real indicator of the timeframe (since the dialogue doesn't use much, if any, of the slang at that time in vogue), Falk's propulsive acting moves the movie slam-bang from beginning to end.
The aforementioned supporting cast includes Stuart Whitman before he started grating on most moviegoers' nerves, May Britt as his sexy wife, and Simon Oakland (really good) and Henry Morgan as the two cops committed to bringing down Murder Inc, as well as Vincent Gardenia (when he was actually thin!!) as Reles' sleazy lawyer (Gardenia is also very good here).
Hard to believe that the rumpled seemingly confused Columbo got his silver screen start as a really nasty piece of work, but there you go. He's a lot of fun to watch. Kudos as well to Oakland and Gardenia.
Fascinating Gangster Movie
Terence Allen | Atlanta, GA USA | 07/16/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Murder Inc. is a fictionalized account of the real-life syndicate killing machine created by Louis "Lepke" Buchalter to tie up loose ends within the organization.
The film, based on a book written by the New York DA who prosecuted the group, is a told in semi-documentary style, and features a fantastic performance by Peter Falk as Abe "Kid Twist" Reles, one of the group's top killer, who, in a fictional subplot, involve a nightclub singer and the singer's dancer/wife in the group's mayhem.
The fictional subplot isn't strong, and doesn't really add to the story, but the great acting by Falk and his co-stars, including May Britt, Stuart Whitman, and Simon Oakland, plus the fact that this is essentially a true story, make Murder, Inc a fascinating look at the innerworkings of the earlier days of the Mafia."
Chilling Crime Drama
David Baldwin | Philadelphia,PA USA | 05/26/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This film is a gripping account of the crime syndicate that terrorized the nation during the waning days of the Great Depression. Filmed in black-and-white in a cinema verite style this film lays out the methodically brutal methods of the consortium that spread fear to the lawless and law abiding alike. The film focuses on the crime empire of Lepke (David J. Stewart) and how he held his grip on power through his vicious subordinates. None of his cronies was more brutal than Abe Reles, portayed here by Peter Falk in a volcanic film debut. Falk is listed in a supporting role here but his aura elevates an already fine film to another level. If you want to contrast Falk's work here I found it akin to that of Joe Pesci's portrayal of Tommy DeVito in "Goodfellas". Stuart Whitman and May Britt play a young couple ensnared by circumstance as accomplices to Lepke. Whitman and Britt, the film's ostensible stars, are kind of bland but do not detract from the overall power of this film."