Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Michael Karbelnikoff|
|Produced by||Jim Ballantine
|Written by||Michael Mahern
|Music by||Michael Small|
|Edited by||Joe Augustine|
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
Mobsters is a 1991 American crime film directed by Michael Karbelnikoff. It details 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.
|This article needs an improved plot summary. (July 2009)|
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.
The film was almost-universally panned by critics earning a 6% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 32 reviews. Variety 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.
Slater said he was hoping that the film would be like Bugsy but this didn't happen. "Our movie ended up in bits and pieces all over the world," he said. "They had different versions flying to Japan, Europe and every other place. There were extended versions, shortened versions; all kinds of weird versions. In my opinion, audiences never got to see a full film. Somewhere in all that mess, there was a legitimate story. It was there in the script."
- "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 (December 31, 1990). "Review: 'Mobsters'". Variety.
- "Hot Christian Slater enjoys 'Kuffs' role: 'I could just relax and play the character". The Baltimore Sun. January 13, 1992.
- DAVID J. FOX (July 30, 1991). "Weekend Box Office: 'Mobsters' Is the Only Solid Opener". Los Angeles Times.