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I, Mobster

USA 1958
produced by
Roger Corman (co), Gene Corman (co), Edward L. Alperson (executive) for Alco Productions
directed by Roger Corman
starring Steve Cochran, Lita Milan, Robert Strauss, Celia Lovsky, Lili St. Cyr, John Brinkley, Grant Withers, Yvette Vickers, Frank Gerstle, Robert Shayne, Wally Cassell, Jeri Southern, John Mylong, Brad Morrow, John Dennis, Bruno VeSota
screenplay by Steve Fisher, based on the novel by Joseph Hilton Smyth, music by Edward L. Alperson jr, Gerald Fried

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Joe Sante (Steve Cochran) has been some sort of a delinquent since a very young age, breaking his parents' heart, but now that he's grown up, he finally has to pay the price and is sent to the slammer for one year after being caught drugrunning. However, once he's out, he's welcomed by his boss Udino (Robert Strauss) with open arms and promised to rise up in the ranks if he only commits a murder. Joe does, and rise in the ranks he does as well, and soon he's the boss and Udino his mere right-hand man. But Udino is the most loyal of them all and clever enough to prefer a job on the sidelines to a job in the limelight (and the line of fire). Joe is smart and soon finds a way to profit from labour wars by getting protection money from both big business and unions, and he's also clever enough to stay away from areas that are simply too hot.

However, due to his "occupation" as a mobster he drifts apart from the woman he really loves, Teresa (Lita Milan), the honest girl-next-door ... whose brother Ernie (John Brinkley) though soon sides with him to follow his footsteps - and fail when he gets addicted from the very stuff he's selling. Eventually, Joe tries to fire him, upon which Ernie tries to blackmail Joe, and Joe has to shoot him dead. It's only then that Teresa (rather surprisingly) realizes that she's in love with Joe, and she does become his moll.

Big time crime kingpin Moran (Grant Withers) offers Udino whatever he wants if he offs Joe, but Udino is loyal and instead helps Joe to kill Moran - which causes a big shakeup in the crime world, and soon enough, Joe becomes a notorious public figure, also due to a highly publizised trial in which he's only just let off the hook.

Joe wants to flee the country ... but now Udino lures him into a death trap - after all, Joe won't do him no good no more and with him out of the way, Udino can take over.

 

After Machine Gun Kelly became an unexpected triumph for Roger Corman not only with the audiences but with the film critics, it was only a matter of time (and not too much time) before Corman would direct another gangster flick - I, Mobster. But while the earlier film was a really clever piece of genre cinema with Charles Bronson giving one of his best early performances, I, Mobster was just your run-of-the-mill gangster movie that told an all-too-familiar story with only few deviations from standard genre fare, too few engaging action scenes, Steve Cochran as an at best average leading man, and a budget a tad too low to really pull off the whole thing.

Now don't get me wrong, I, Mobster is not a bad movie, it's just ... routine, actually, a film you can kind of enjoy while watching but will have forgotten in a day or two ...

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
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love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

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Tales to Chill
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a collection of short stories and mini-plays
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from the post-apocalyptic
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tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
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Out now from
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On the same day
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WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
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written by
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starring
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out now on DVD