King of the Roaring 20's – The Story of Arnold Rothstein

Cavalier about its facts, this biopic of the infamous, short, chubby gambling kingpin Arnold Rothstein (played by tall smoothie Janssen) contrives to suggest that all went wrong for this middle-class whizz-kid because his child-hood peccadillos were dogged by a bent cop (O'Herlihy) eternally on the take. His achievement of fame, fortune and true love (Foster) comes crashing around his ears when his schemes lead to the gangland murder of his longtime buddy and partner (Rooney). Rothstein has to hold himself morally responsible; but the real culprit, we are assured, is racketeer Big Tim O'Brien (Carson), working hand-in-glove with O'Herlihy (among others) to gain control of the gambling scene by manipulating Rothstein. Terminally dreary in its convolutions, the script eventually disappears up the backside of its plodding plot, while only Jack Carson manages to invest his character with any conviction.

Release details

Duration: 106 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Joseph M Newman
Screenwriter: Jo Swerling
Cast: Mickey Shaughnessy
Dianne Foster
Joseph Schildkraut
William Demarest
Keenan Wynn
Dan O'Herlihy
Jack Carson
Diana Dors
David Janssen
Mickey Rooney
Regis Toomey
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