Baby Face Nelson

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One of Siegel's most vigorous crime-thrillers, and a key study of the gangster as psychotic. Rooney is surprisingly and superbly cast as the Depression desperado increasingly unable to control his outbursts of irrational violence, while the supporting cast - including Gordon as John Dillinger - is expertly deployed. But it is the sheer pace and economy of Siegel's direction that lend the film its anarchic energy; recreation of period is almost ignored in favour of an emphasis on actions exemplifying the anti-hero's sexually-insecure neuroses. A superior example of the way B-movie conventions may be transcended by wit and a fertile imagination.

By: GA

Release details

Duration: 83 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Don Siegel
Screenwriter: Irving Shulman, Daniel Mainwaring
Cast: Mickey Rooney
Carolyn Jones
Cedric Hardwicke
Ted de Corsia
Emile Meyer
Leo Gordon
Jack Elam
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