Im Chicago der späten 1920er Jahre hat sich Al Capone weitgehend als Herrscher der Unterwelt durchgesetzt. Doch Capone und seiner Mafia-Organisation macht George Moran mit seinen zumeist irisch-stämmigen Gangstern aus dem Norden der Stadt immer wieder Schwierigkeiten. Chicago in den späten 20er Jahren: Al Capone hat sich als Herrscher der Unterwelt weitgehend durchgesetzt. Er kontrolliert mit seiner Mafia aus italienischstämmigen Gangstern das in Zeiten der Prohibition lukrative Alkohol- und Glückspielgeschäft – und auch bei der Prostitution in der Stadt verdient er kräftig mit. Doch George Moran, der die wichtigste Gang aus dem Norden der Stadt anführt, macht ihm immer wieder Schwierigkeiten. Die North Side Gang belässt es nicht dabei, die für Al Capone vorgesehene Schmuggelware abzufangen, sondern zettelt mehrere mit Maschinengewehren durchgeführte Mordanschläge an, die in immer wieder brüchigen Waffenstillständen enden. Zeit für Al Capone, aufzuräumen: in einer Garage am 14. Februar 1929, dem Valentinstag. (arte)


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Englisch For insiders, the name Roger Corman is synonymous with easygoing B-movie entertainment, but that's not entirely true. The St. Valentine's Day Massacre may be mired in brevity and overwhelmed by the number of characters, many of whom are dismissed with just a few sentences from the narrator, but on the other hand it maintains a great pace and adds a pleasing and evocative framework with its unconventional "Chronicle of Deaths Announced" style, especially at the end. I really liked the lively camera rides in mostly interior scenes and the performances (among which Jack Nicholson can be seen for a moment), which puts the film ahead of Martin Scorsese's formal magic, but when compared with the first-rate, more tightly constructed gangster films by Martin and co, I can't give this one more than a very strong 3*. ()


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Englisch The St. Valentine's Day Massacre is an artistic reconstruction of the climax of the gang wars over control of the illegal alcohol trade during the Prohibition era in Chicago. Its disadvantage is that this story is notoriously known and has been depicted on the big screen multiple times. Furthermore, this attractive period in American history has been thoroughly explored by top directors, charismatic actors, and generous producers, so despite director Corman's efforts, he couldn't achieve the highest rating from me. On the other hand, even though the screenwriter stuck to generally known facts, the whole story and the characters operating not on the edge but already beyond it are so intriguing that viewers will still enjoy it, even if it's not an Oscar-worthy affair. The film didn't inspire me, but it also didn't disappoint. It's an honest gangster movie, which is only harmed by the attempt at maximum factual accuracy; it's simply tiring to listen to when this person was born on such and such day and was divorced for the second time, etc. While the film doesn't feature the biggest movie stars, it also doesn't give off the feeling of the dull pseudo-acting of docudramas from recent years. Overall impression: 65%. ()


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