|THE GEORGE RAFT STORY (director: Joseph M. Newman; screenwriters: Crane Wilbur; cinematographer: Carl Guthrie; editor: George White; music: Jeff Alexander; cast: Ray Danton (George Raft), Margo Moore (Ruth Harris), Jayne Mansfield (Lisa Lang), Julie London (Sheila Patton), Barrie Chase (June Tyler), Frank Gorshin (Moxie Cusack ), Neville Brand (Al Capone), Brad Dexter (Bugsy Siegal), Joe de Santis (Frank Donatella), Jack Lambert (Jerry Fitzpatrick), Barbara Nichols (Texas Guinan), Robert Strauss (Frenchie), Argentina Brunetti (Raft's mom); Runtime: 103; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Ben Schwalb; Warner Brothers (Allied Artists); 1961)|
|"Unconvincing and dull
fictitious biopic on George Raft."
by Dennis Schwartz
and dull fictitious biopic on actor-dancer
George Raft, that's shot in b/w. Director Joseph M.
Newman ("This Island Earth"/"The Big
Circus"/"Dangerous Crossing") just goes through the
motions. The screenplay by Crane Wilbur never gets to
who is the real Raft.
1920s, the ambitious lad from NYC's Hell's Kitchen,
George Raft (Ray Danton), is a dancer and gigolo in
Manhattan's Dreamland. To pick up extra dough, George
becomes a driver for bootlegger nightclub owner
Frenchie (Robert Strauss). When George
protects cigarette girl Ruth Harris (Margo
Moore) from being mauled by a gangster
(Jack Lambert), he finds he's no longer in with the
racketeers led by Frankie Donatella (Joe
de Santis). The gangster advises him to
leave town for Hollywood and the movies. Raft's
big break comes in 1932, playing a coin tossing
gangster in Scarface. Though now moving in Hollywood
circles and getting good parts, Raft befriends
gangster such as Al Capone (Neville Brand)
and "Bugsy" Siegel (Brad Dexter).
Still living the good life, his star fades and he
loses his luxury Hollywood home. After losing his
Havana casino because of Castro's revolution, Raft
returns to Hollywood and in his comeback plays a
gangster in 1959's Some
Like It Hot.
Chase, Margo Moore, Julie London, Barbara Nichols
and Jayne Mansfield (meant to be Betty Grable) play
some of the glamor gals Raft was linked to.
the real names concerned with Raft are changed, and
there's no mention of his marriage. The result is a
shoddy film, and when there's no dancing it looks
REVIEWED ON 6/27/2015 GRADE: C+
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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