Edward C. (real911) from WITTMANN, AZ Reviewed on 7/15/2009...
Saw this years ago on VHS it is actually a very cool movie. The scenes are realistic and the cast believeable. The actual location has been torn down now the, bullet riddled wall is in the den of a rich guy in Canada. per the local news.Worth seeing for the location shots Robards is just good. he is!!
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Obvious Inaccuracies Bother Me
C. W. Emblom | Ishpeming, Michigan USA | 10/17/1999
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I found the movie enjoyable even though Jason Robards hardly resembles Al Capone. The movie has Al Capone slitting the throat of rival Joe Aiello on a train as he attempted to leave Chicago before the Massacre was even planned. However, Joe Aiello died from a hail of bullets on October 23, 1930, as he left an apartment building, more than a year after the Massacre took place. This would have been an easy fact to substantiate, yet the film contains this unnecessary error. The movie also has Albert Anselmi and John Scalise murdered by Capone with a baseball bat in "Capone's mansion" following a banquet honoring them. The killings actually took place in a Hammond, Indiana, road house. In addition, Joe Guinta was a third one clubbed to death at that time. Finally the movie includes Boris Chapman and Adolph Moeller as two who took part in the St. Valentine's Day Massacre. That may or may not be, but no mention is made of Fred "Killer" Burke who it is widely believed to be one who definitely took part in the killings. The movie was very entertaining and worthwhile, but the inaccuracies that I have mentioned could certainly have been easily checked out."
A "Massacre" of the facts, but a fun one
DBW | Chicago, IL USA | 11/16/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
""The St. Valentine's Day Massacre" is the kind of film that needs to be accepted on its own terms. To expect by-the-book authenticity, or post-1970 graphic violence, or extensive location shooting, is asking far too much. There's an early scene in which George Segal, as one of the murderous Guesenberg brothers, intimidates a speakeasy owner into buying beer supplied by Bugs Moran. His tactics are similar to those employed by James Cagney in "Public Enemy," and it is this little homage that should tell viewers that the film is going to make a mere pretense of accuracy - and that this is just fine. "Massacre" is a thoroughly entertaining film that never tries to be anything more or less than that. Fred Steiner's jangling, dissonant score deserves a mention. It has a Charleston-like rhythm, dominated by a piano. It's an oddly effective thing, heard to best effect over the end title. Among the cast, no one turns in what could be called a brilliant performance, but Ralph Meeker probably comes off best as Bugs Moran, particularly as he utters the crime boss' most famous quote, near the end. Jean Hale definitely got my attention as Segal's girlfriend, and Clint Richie is appropriately sly as Machine Gun Jack McGurn, who masterminded the title killings."
Great "Corman" gangster film
Brian C. Lawton | Brooklyn, New York United States | 03/21/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Roger Corman does it again in this late sixties version of the most brutal day in probition history. This love letter to Al Capone may come off to some as a stylist,violent cartoon but to those know Mr. Corman's work will accept this version as exploitive entertainment. Presented in a "matter of Fact" narrative (voiced by the late great Paul Frees) this movie centers around the bloody day itself and how it was arranged from start to finish by Mr. Capone played by an all out,over the top Jason Robards. And what a Rouges Gallery of stock players George Segal,Ralph Meeker,Kurt Kruger,John Agar,Bruce Dern, Harold Stone to name a few and look quick for a young Jack Nicholson as a henchmen."
Underrated classic from legendary Roger Corman.
Leif Sheppard | United States | 11/20/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"One who looks to the theatre, a venue created for the sole purpose of entertainment, for the purpose of witnessing factual accounts of true life stories is a bit naive and more than a little foolish.
What? You mean the epic battles depicted in "300" didn't REALLY happen that way?
No way! Are you telling me that Mozart wasn't REALLY the bawdy buffoon obsessed with lowbrow humor as depicted in "Amadeus"?
When was the last time you saw a film that stuck to straight facts? For me, it was "1492: Conquest of Paradise" back in '92. And yet some still argue that the film is a poor distillation of the truth.
"The St. Valentine's Day Massacre" isn't a film full of actual truths, because Roger Corman never meant it to be. It's a fun, fast-paced, and extremely entertaining film with some truly exceptional sets. Do you think he may have been shooting for that instead?
Sure, for starters, Robards is a bit hammy as Capone. Yes, he does look nothing like Capone did. But if you're a fan of the era and gangster movies in general, give this one a chance, because it's unquestionably one of the finest b-movies ever to emerge from the storied career of Corman.
And by the way, if you want the hard facts, watch a documentary."
Happy St. Valentine's Day
gobirds2 | New England | 02/13/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I always liked THE ST. VALENTINE'S DAY MASACRE despite historical liberties. This is a hard edge gangster move and a good one at that. This is one of Roger Corman's best films. The story is full of energy and the film's characters are rather charismatic. The cast that includes Jason Robards, Ralph Meeker, George Segal, Joseph Campanella, Frank Silvera, David Canary, John Agar, Jack Nicholson, Leo Gordon, Jean Hale, Harold J. Stone and Bruce Dern. You just don't find a strong cast like that in movies any more. Fred Steiner's composed one of his best score for this film. However simplistic and superficial this film may appear it is very entertaining and well constructed and immediately gets your attention and pulls you in. The sequence leading up to the St. Valentine's Day Massacre are very suspenseful. "