EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|MUSIC BOX KID, THE (aka: THE GANGSTER) (director: Edward L. Cahn; screenwriter: Herbert Abbott Spiro; cinematographer: Maury Gertsman; editor: James Blakeley; music: Paul Sawtell/Burt Shefter; cast: Ron Foster (Larry Shaw, aka: The Music Box Kid), Luana Patten (Margaret Shaw), Grant Richards (Chesty Miller), Johnny Seven (Tony Maldano), Carl Milletaire (Pat Lamont), Dayton Lummis (Father Gorman), Bernard Fein (Biggie Gaines), Tyler McVey (DA Henley); Runtime: 74; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Robert E. Kent; United Artists; 1960)|
no saving graces, its story is so unpleasant it
makes for a disgusting
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Dull, low-budget gangster B-film that's weakly directed by Edward L. Cahn ("The She Creature"/"Voodoo Woman"/"Invasion of the Saucermen") and terribly written by Herbert Abbott Spiro. It's unconvincing, poorly acted and shoddy in its execution. With no saving graces, its story is so unpleasant it makes for a disgusting watch.
Set in the Bronx,
Prohibition in the 1920s, where twenty-one-year-old
Larry Shaw (Ron Foster)
the innocent nineteen-year-old Margaret (Luana
poses as a successful insurance
salesman. In reality, he's an ambitious contract
killer working for
Bronx crime boss Chesty
Miller (Grant Richards).
Larry gets promoted by the boss to run his "discipline
and execution," or D&E, squads, and with his
childhood pal Tony
Maldano (Johnny Seven) as his right hand man, he
distillery from rival gangs. The boss presents Larry
with a machine gun
and a case to carry the weapon around to jobs. The
case is referred to
as a music box, and when Larry makes headlines
knocking off rivals the
newspapers dub him the "The Music Box Kid."
is a monster killer, he won't let her leave the
marriage and threatens
to kill her father and her friendly concerned pastor
Father Gorman (Dayton
Lummis) if she
divorces him. Larry
breaks from working with Chesty to operating his own
gang, and now
executes jobs for all the crime families in the city.
He gets more
greedy and kidnaps crime boss Biggie Gaines' (Bernard
Fein) right hand
man Pat Lamont (Carl
orders Biggie to
pay a $100,000 ransom for his release. To collect
Larry goes to
Biggie's headquarters alone to get the money. Biggie
forks over the
money because he can't afford to lose the brains
behind his gang. Why
he wouldn't hold Larry to make an even swap, is beyond
me. But the film
was so unsatisfying that by that time I didn't care to
quibble why it
made so little sense since everything about it was
whack. The pic went
through the motions showing how Larry's action causes
a heated gang war
and the attention of law enforcement in the way of a
appointed to bust the gangs. At last the tedious crime
how Larry got his come-uppance in the end and how
Margaret got up
enough nerve to rat out her monster hubby.
Larry was supposed to be the counterpart of real Bronx gangster Dutch Schultz.
REVIEWED ON 5/19/2011 GRADE: C-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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