Dreyfuss and Perlich are Incredible as Meyer Lansky
David Thomson | Houston, TX USA | 08/19/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The overall production quality of "Lansky" is barely adequate. This HBO TV special comes across as a film made under severe time and financial constraints. Nonetheless, the acting talent of Richard Dreyfuss is utterly fantastic. The now middle-aged star gives a performance that ranks among his very best. Dreyfuss clearly understands this low keyed Jewish gangster who lead much of American organized crime in the previous century. The character actor Max Perlich also does a splendid job of portraying Lansky during his earlier years. Perlich is a skillful thespian who deserves greater respect and attention. He ought to have received at least an Academy Award nomination for his splendid supporting work in "Rush."Meyer Lansky was something of a highly intelligent mob boss who essentially perceived himself as a misunderstood polite business man; neither better nor worse than the titans of that era's capitalist business organizations. Lansky rationalizations conveniently ignored the fact that murder and other forms of violence are not everyday realities of conventional American capitalism. Lansky, though, was probably correct to conclude that FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover and Senator Estes Kefauver hounded him mostly out of less than noble reasons."Lansky" accurately depicts the Jewish gangsters as far more intelligent than those generally found in other ethnic groups. Also, the Meyer Lanskys, "Bugsy" Siegels, and Alfred Rothsteins were the only generation of that ethnic tradition that chose careers in organized crime. Their progeny did not follow in their father's footsteps! Meyer Lansky, for instance, made sure that his own son attended West Point and became a U.S. military officer. "Lansky" earns four stars. I highly recommend this movie if you are someone genuinely interested in understanding the motivations of a Meyer Lansky. He may not be an American hero, but Lansky cannot be ignored if you truly desire to comprehend the difficulties of many to assimilate into our national culture."
Chieck Kongo | Brooklyn, NY United States | 10/29/2004
(1 out of 5 stars)
"The price reflects the quality of this film. Too many things are wrong with this movie to name. First of all, the script is HORRID, and most of the acting is HORRID, its very boring. Secondly, the actor looks nothing like Lansky. The best part of the movie was the beginning when they showed Meyer and Bugsy as kids. It was all downhill from there. I recommend the BONANNO movie instead of this crap, THAT even had more details and interesting bit about Lansky than this flick."
Inger Watts | Trondheim, Norway | 02/20/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I found the film interesting because it portrays a mafia boss of another origin than those I have seen in other movies. Lansky is a Jew of Russian origin. This is during the pogroms in Russia, and Meyer's parents decide to escape when the rabbi is being killed while the mob put houses on fire. The Lansky family emigrates to the USA.
It is here Lansky meet up with other children in one of the ghettos where immigrants live. It starts with gambling among children, and gradually it goes from there to big crime.
I found the film interesting, and mainly so because I find Lansky's story a bit different than most other Mafia films I have seen. Lansky was not of Italian descent (on the contrary to other people I have seen portrayed), and he seemed quieter than other Mafia characters in films.
Still, in this movie it is obvious that he is intelligent and one of the leaders of the cartel.
Chieck Kongo | 06/08/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've been waiting for a new gangster movie that has some class to it. Unlike these past few movies where there is nothing but crack sells up in the projects. This movie shows the life of a real La Coasta boss who took a great part in the history of the Mob. I recommend this movie to any body who knows what the MOB is about!"