Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Michael Karbelnikoff|
|Produced by||Jim Ballantine
|Written by||Michael Mahern
Lara Flynn Boyle
F. Murray Abraham
|Music by||Michael Small|
|Editing by||Joe Augustine|
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
|Release dates||July 26, 1991|
|Running time||104 minutes|
|Box office||$20,246,790 (domestic)|
Mobsters is a 1991 crime-drama film detailing the creation of The Commission. Set in New York City, taking place from 1917 to 1931, it is a semi-fictitious account of the rise of Charles "Lucky" Luciano, Meyer Lansky, Frank Costello, and Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel. The film stars Christian Slater as Luciano, Patrick Dempsey as Lansky, Costas Mandylor as Costello and Richard Grieco as Siegel, with Michael Gambon, Anthony Quinn, Lara Flynn Boyle and F. Murray Abraham in supporting roles.
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This highly dramatized film focuses primarily on Luciano and Lansky. They start as young men victimized by the current mafia. They rise from petty criminals and bootleggers to push aside the old guard of the Mafia and eventually establish The Commission, which set up the New York Mafia into five separate families. Bugsy Siegel (Richard Grieco) and Frank Costello (Costas Mandylor) control the physical elements of the operation, while Lucky Luciano (Christian Slater) and Meyer Lansky (Patrick Dempsey) bring up the business end.
- Christian Slater as Charlie "Lucky" Luciano
- Patrick Dempsey as Meyer Lansky
- Costas Mandylor as Frank Costello
- Richard Grieco as Bugsy Siegel
- Michael Gambon as Salvatore Maranzano, known as Faranzano in the movie
- Anthony Quinn as Joe Masseria
- Lara Flynn Boyle as Mara Motes based on Luciano's lover interest Gay Orlova
- F. Murray Abraham as Arnold Rothstein
- Chris Penn as Gaetano "Tommy" Reina
- Rodney Eastman as Joey
- Andy Romano as Antonio Luciano
- Bianca Rossini as Rosalie Luciano
- Robert Z'Dar as Rocco
- Titus Welliver as Al Capone
- Joe Viterelli as Joe Profaci
- Nicholas Sadler as Mad Dog Coll
The movie was loosely based on the book, The Last Testament of Lucky Luciano written in 1974 by Martin A. Gosch and Richard Hammer. The film is generally in line with historical truth. The Castellammarese War from 1928 to 1931, is never named. Mara Motes is a character of fiction based in part on Luciano's girlfriend, Gay Orlova. However, two major events are depicted inaccurately; the death of Vincent "Mad Dog" Coll and the death of Faranzano/Maranzano. In early 1932, "Dutch" Schultz killed Coll in a Manhattan telephone booth. In the true case of the death of Faranzano (Maranzano) he was stabbed and shot, dying at his office desk, not falling out the window.
The film was almost-universally panned by critics earning a 4% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 28 reviews. Variety Magazine wrote that "'Mobsters' resembles a cart-before-the-horse case of putting marketing ahead of filmmaking, as the seemingly can't-miss premise of teen-heartthrob gangsters gets lost in self-important direction, a shoddy script and muddled storytelling". According to Roger Ebert, the movie's violence and bloodshed are so far over the top that "they undermine the rest of the film, and approach parody". He gave the movie two and a half out of four stars. Both Anthony Quinn and Christian Slater were each nominated for a Razzie Award as Worst Supporting Actor for their performances in this film (neither won).
- "Mobsters (1991)". Box Office Mojo. 1991-09-03. Retrieved 2012-07-09.
- "Mobsters - Trailers, Reviews, Synopsis, Showtimes and Cast". AllMovie. 1991-07-26. Retrieved 2012-07-09.
- Variety Staff (Dec 31, 1990). "Mobsters". Mobsters. Variety Magazine. Retrieved 10 May 2011.
- DAVID J. FOX (1991-07-30). "Weekend Box Office : 'Mobsters' Is the Only Solid Opener - Los Angeles Times". Articles.latimes.com. Retrieved 2012-07-09.