Schlockmeister Roger Corman produced this graphically violent chronicle of the Chicago gangster wars of the 1920s and the events that lead to the bloody title showdown between rival mobsters Al Capone (Jason Robards) and Bugs Moran (Ralph Meeker) that marked a brutal end to a terrifying era. Fred Steiner's film score is effectively mixed with popular songs from the 1920s, and the re-creation of gangster-era Chicago is a credit to the set designers. Historic and insightful narration is dramatically provided by Paul Frees, giving the film the flavor of a docudrama. Jean Hale plays Moran's gun moll, who is mercilessly kneed in the stomach while arguing over a fur coat. Though The St. Valentine's Day Massacre was heralded by critics at the time of its initial release, their opinion of the film has changed with each decade as they waver on the cinematic value of all of Corman's work. Audiences continue to relish the film, which is often shown on the anniversary of the bloody executions. Watch for Jack Nicholson as one of the unfortunate victims. ~ Dan Pavlides, Rovi
This film, chronicling the events leading up to the events of the St. Valentine's Day Massacre in 1929 Chicago, was an accurate portrayal of the times. Violent by 1960's standards, it would be in the middle of the pack today. There is narration throughout which does help in keeping characters straight. I would have like to have seen more detail of the characters' lives, and not just a "here is what happened today" style. The settings and costuming are accurate for the time, but the film does have something of an amateurish quality to it. Through it all, the audience knows what is going to happen, and is waiting for the characters to find it out themselves.
One of the best depictions of Capone's life. Robards does a fantastic job bringing this well written screenplay to life. Written and released in 1967 this movie has stood the test of time and is still entertaining today. Clearly ahead of it's time. Great movie !