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In the early 1930s, small-time thief and ex-convict George Kelly holds up a bank with gang members Howard and Maize, killing a security guard with a tommy-gun during the robbery. George and the others elude the police and pass the stolen money to their courier, Michael Fandango, before separating. George's girl friend, Florence Becker, picks him up in her car and they evade a police roadblock, then continue to their hideout at Harry's Gas Stop. When Harry, a member of the gang, refuses to arrange to pick up Maize until he receives his share of the robbery, George insists it is impossible to split the proceeds until the gang is safely reunited. Harry, a hunting aficionado, shows George his wild mountain lion caged behind the station and threatens to turn the animal loose on George unless he hands over his share. George relinquishes Harry's cut, but after the lion's cage is re-locked, George strikes Harry, then allows him to be clawed by the lion as retaliation. Eventually the gang is reunited at Harry's, but when Fandango arrives with the money, Flo discovers that he has pocketed his portion, which infuriates George, who beats him. While the police turn their investigation over to criminal machine-gun experts, George and the gang remain in hiding. After several days, Flo arrives from surveying a nearby bank that is expecting an armored car delivery. Despite Howard's concerns about the robbery's difficulties, George believes the small gang can handle the pinpoint-precision timing required. Before the robbery, Flo cautions George that Fandango still resents the humiliating beating that George gave him and may seek revenge. George then arranges to meet Fandango at Harry's, where he purposely allows Harry's lion to severely maul Fandango. On the day of the robbery, the gang surrounds the bank to wait for the armored car, but George's well-timed approach to the bank is interrupted by a coffin delivery to the mortuary next door. Deeply superstitious, George freezes in fear, leaving Howard alone in the bank. Howard tries to shoot his way into the vault without success. During their escape, Maize is killed and Howard is nearly caught. In the aftermath of the failed robbery, George and Flo temporarily move in with Flo's parents, Frank and Ma, who, unimpressed by George's press nickname, "Machine-Gun Kelly," treat him with disdain. Several days later at a local bar, Flo is approached by an associate of Fandango, who reveals that Howard has joined another gang and, blaming George for Maize's death and the failed theft, plans to kill him. Upon returning home, Flo insists that George take Howard's threat seriously. Goaded by Flo and Ma's cynical taunts, George discovers Howard's hideout and kills him and his gang. Exalted by his success and the newspaper headlines, George declares that he must take on bigger crimes for higher payoffs and decides on kidnapping. After two weeks of careful stalking, George and Flo settle on nine-year-old Sherryl Vito, daughter of a wealthy businessman. George and Flo intercept Sherryl walking home from school, but when her nurse, Lynn Grayson, approaches, George insists on taking her too. A new cohort, Apple, assists George and Flo in taking Lynn and Sherryl to a small, secluded shack. Flo brings Ma and Frank to help calm Sherryl, which angers George. The group listens to the radio announcement of the kidnapping and their ransom demand for one hundred thousand dollars. The following day, George stops Apple's attempt to sexually assault Lynn. Later, during a radio appeal from Mr. Vito, George is stunned when Vito pleads for whomever telephoned him regarding the abduction to call again. Flo suspects that Frank may have tried to betray them for the reward money and drives to a general store to telephone home to silence him. At the store, Flo calmly answers a few questions from a local patrolman before placing her call. After Flo's departure, the patrolman has her call traced and reports to the primary investigating team, which includes Detective Clinton. Clinton's team knows of Flo's association with George and has linked the bank robberies and the slaying of Howard's gang by the use of George's machine-gun. Back at the cabin, when Flo confronts George over his indecision and paralyzing superstitions, then claims credit for his successful crimes, George strikes her. When Apple intercedes on Flo's behalf, George shoots him. George then calls Fandango to entreat him to return to the gang to serve as courier again. Despite having lost an arm in the lion mauling, Fandango agrees, but shortly thereafter is picked up for questioning by Clinton. Fandango refuses to cooperate but, just after leaving headquarters, telephones Clinton anonymously to declare that George is behind the kidnapping. That night, Fandango picks up the money Vito drops at a secret location, then confronts Harry, who is following him at George's orders. Fandango then telephones the police to reveal George's hiding place. The police surround the hideout and demand that George and the gang surrender. When Fandango triumphantly declares that he has given George away, Harry shoots him, then recklessly begins firing at the police, until they kill him. When Flo threatens to harm Lynn and Sheryl unless the police retreat, Clinton responds that they have arrested Ma and Frank. Flo wants to try to escape, but George is certain they will die and refuses. Flo then declares her disgust with George's cowardice and as he blames her for his downfall, the police break in and arrest them.
Cast & Crew
|MPAA Ratings:||Premiere Info:||not available|
|Release Date:||1958||Production Date:||
|Color/B&W:||Black and White||Distributions Co:||American International Pictures|
|Sound:||Mono||Production Co:||El Monte Productions|
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Early Bronson Acting is Overrated !
DON RILEY 2018-06-16
Charles Bronson's early appearances are so overrated. He's brutish, one dimensional but give him this, he has a strong presence. Which in his...