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Lepke (Warner 1975, Tony Curtis, Milton Berle)

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An excellent gangster film that follows the life of Louis Buchalter from the reformatory to C.E.O. of Murder, Inc. to the electric chair in 1944. Tony Curtis makes a believable mobster despite his boyish good looks. Milton Berle makes a rare, albeit short, appearance in a dramatic role as Lepke’s father-in-law.

Louis Buchalter took the nickname ‘Lepke’ because it means ‘Little Louis’ in Yiddish. His mother had called him ‘Lepkele’ (‘Dear Little Louis’) and he adapted it for his career in professional murder.

production details
USA | Warner Bros. | 110 minutes | 1975

Director: Menahem Golan
Producer: Menahem Golan
Cinematography: Andrew Davis
Editors: Dov Hoenig, Aaron Stell
Music: Kenneth Wannberg
Script: Tamar Simon Hoffs, Wesley Lau

cast
Tony Curtis as Louis ‘Lepke’ Buchalter
Simmy Bow as Tannenbaum
Lillian Adams as Mama Meyer
Anjanette Comer as Bernice Meyer
Michael Callan as Robert Kane
Warren Berlinger as Gurrah Shapiro
Gianni Russo as Albert Anastasia
Milton Berle as Mr. Meyer
Vic Tayback as Lucky Luciano
Mary Charlotte Wilcox as Marion
Jack Ackerman as Little Augie
Louis Guss as Max Rubin
Albert Cole as Gross
Zitto Kazann as Abe “Kid Twist” Reles
Russ Grieve as Judge
Clement von Franckenstein as Bugsy Siegel