Lansky (film)

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Lansky
Lansky.jpg
DVD cover
Directed by John McNaughton
Produced by Fred C. Caruso
Written by Uri Dan
Dennis Eisenberg
Eli Landau
David Mamet
Starring Richard Dreyfuss
Eric Roberts
Anthony LaPaglia
Music by George S. Clinton
Cinematography John A. Alonzo
Jeffrey Greeley
Edited by Elena Maganini
Distributed by HBO
Release date(s) February 27, 1999
Running time 93 - 114 mins
Country  United States
Language English

Lansky is a 1999 American made-for-television crime drama film. Directed by John McNaughton, it stars Richard Dreyfuss as the famous gangster Meyer Lansky, Eric Roberts as Bugsy Siegel, and Ryan Merriman as the young Lansky.

Plot summary[edit]

The movie circuits around flashbacks of Lansky's life, the first showing is as Lansky as an old man looking for a rock to put on his grandfather's grave in Jerusalem. Upon seeing soldiers of the Israeli Defense Force, Lansky expresses regret that his Grandfather never lived to see them. As he walks through a tunnel, he catches sight of an old man. He recalls how at the age of 10 years old, he witnessed an elderly Jew being bludgeoned to death with an axe during a pogrom.

Later, as the shtetl is burning down, his parents hastily pack up their valuables and prepare to flee to America. Lansky's Grandfather watches sceptically. Meanwhile, his father suggests, "You think I should fight? You stay, and you fight."

The film then changes to the Lower East Side, Manhattan. After his mother gives him money to go buy challah for Shabbat, Lansky comes upon a game of craps on the street corner. Later, Lansky returns home penniless and deeply ashamed.

Later, Benjamin Siegel and Lansky are eyeing the Irish-American boy who operates the craps game, Lansky makes his bet as he's throwing the dice the owner's friend slides him some dice. Certain that the game is rigged, Lansky shouts that he won the bet. The Irish boy pushes at the young Lansky, Lansky pushes him back then the teenager's friend slides out his knife and cuts Lansky's arm, Benjamin Seigel come into the scene and hits the knife kid with a brick shouting at him telling him to give him the money. As Lansky and Benjamin are walking down the docks they see the Irish kid who bet against them in the alley the Irish kid is shouting Irish word about him being Jewish, Lansky jumps into the sea where the Irish kid is hanging about, Lansky then goes under water and slits the Irish kid's neck.

As the blood is sliding around the water is goes back to Lansky as an old man drinking wine with the Jewish man. The Jewish man goes of to pray in the synagogue. The film goes on showing Lansky owning the crap games as a kid Lansky goes of into an alley to count his money this is where he meets Charles Lucky Luciano when Charles was telling him to give protection money the gang start to give Lansky a beating. Lansky is saying "Nothing For Nothing" Luciano takes a liking to Lansky's guts, they the work together selling illegal booze, Bugsy, Luciano and Lansky are making their way driving the truck with booze in. They are ambushed by Arnold Rothstein's associates. Luciano and Lansky make a deal saying they will give them 1 truck full of booze and no one will be shot at, when Lansky, Bugsy and Luciano get into the truck we find out the truck was full of empty suitcases. Impressed, Rothstein invites them to his house for a sit-down. He offers Bugsy and Lansky a job to work for him as he knows Lansky is smart. After Rothstein is taken out Meyer and Bugsy work with Luciano to take over the crime world killing the Italian bosses Joe Masseria and Salvatore Maranzano. Luciano then sets up the Commission and the 5 Italian families can now work freely with Jews. Meyer builds his prestige by running all the casinos in Cuba and helping Bugsy get a start in Las Vegas. After Bugsy spends more money than the plan and his girlfriend is questioned in taking money, Meyer buys his childhood friend time to turn the venture around. A month after warning Siegel the Flamingo is not earning money and Lansky can no longer prevent the Commission from taking out Siegel. Years later Lansky is on the run in Israel to avoid tax evasion charges but is extradited back to the U.S. He is lucky to get off on the charges and retires to Miami.

At the climax of the film, Lansky gives an interview to a French journalist. When the journalist asks him what he would do if he could live his life over, Lansky responds, "I wouldn't change a thing."

Critical reception[edit]

The TV film got 5.0/10 at the IMDb. The film received mixed reviews.

External links[edit]