Capone (1975) is a Roger Corman exploitation biopic centering on Al Capone's rise to power
in Chicago and his prohibition years. Although the exploitation advertising
touted it as "Finally, the truth about Capone," it is not particularly factual.
It does have the St. Valentine's Day Massacre on the correct date, and has him
dying of syphilis.
As in many Corman films, there is a lot of real talent, including Ben Gazzara
in the title role, Harry Guardino, John Cassavetes, Frank Campanella, Susan
Blakely, and Sylvester Stallone in an early performance as Frank Nitty. The film
mainly consists of arguments over how to run the organization, gun flights, car
bombings, and corrupt officials, interrupted by the occasional tender or
humorous moment between Capone and Blakely's character, Iris.
I found it a quick watch, and thought some of the cinematography was
outstanding, but none of that is important. What is important here is the
nudity. Susan Blakely does an open crotch shot in clear light. This is believed
to be the first such shot in an American mainstream film, and the only one until
Sharon Stone's famous interrogation scene in Basic Instinct. Unlike Stone,
Blakely never claimed she didn't know what would be shown. Problem is, it wasn't
shown in most versions of the film. Unfortunately, the DVD version, while uncut,
is in a theatrical aspect ratio, so there are some frames in which Blakely's
genitalia are below the limits of the widescreen cropping.
If you are not familiar with our grading system, you need to
explanation, because the grading is not linear. For example, by
our definition, a
C is solid and a C+ is a VERY good movie. There are very few Bs
and As. Based on our descriptive system, this film is a: