by Tuna

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.


Our Grade:

If you are not familiar with our grading system, you need to read the 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:


The film is a C as a good example of how to make a slick low budget exploitation film.


  • Susan Blakely does an open crotch shot in clear light. This is believed to be the first such shot in an American mainstream film.

  • Note: some of the best views of Blakely's genitalia are NOT visible in the uncut DVD. While it is uncut, it is in a widescreen a/r, and some of the flesh seen in earlier full screen versions is below the cropping line in this widescreen version.


1 Roger Ebert (of 4 stars)





5.2 IMDB summary (of 10)
Capone - uncut and uncensored now carries a Region 2 PAL with English, German and Spanish Audio choices, and subtitles in English, German, Spanish, Swedish, Danish, Finish and Norwegian.