What You Need To Know:
(LLL, VVV, SSS, N, A/D, M) At least 25 obscenities & profanities; extremely graphic, bloody violence, including random and deliberate killings; sexual seduction, sexual language & fornication; alcohol abuse; and, revenge & retaliation throughout the film.
MOBSTERS, yet another gangster film, recounts, albeit in hazy fashion, the rise of organized crime in the United States.
Set in 1920’s New York, MOBSTERS also tells the story of the close relationship of Lucky Luciano (Christian Slater), Meyer Lansky (Patrick Dempsey), Bugsy Siegel (Richard Grieco), and Frank Costello (Costas Mandylor).
Early in the film, Luciano, Lansky, and the two other men band together to begin their takeover of New York’s crime syndicate. As they gain clout, dealing with the likes of Dom Masseria (Anthony Quinn), one of the Mafia heads, their share of the crime pie grows. However, when Luciano comes up against Faranzano, Faranzano’s men work him over, tying him up and brutally beating and cutting him. Receiving a long knife wound on the right side of his face because he refuses to part company with Lansky and Siegal, Luciano wins the “Lucky” attachment to his name at this time but makes no deals with Faranzano. After awhile, they leave him for dead beside the river.
Luciano has become romantically involved with chorus girl Myra prior to his beating, and before a love-making session, Myra asks him if he believes in fate and also to “be my friend.” The two, subsequently, see a lot of each other. After his beating, however, other gangsters gain access to Luciano’s suite and riddle Myra’s sleeping form with bullets.
Siegel turns out to be a general ladies’ man, and in a titillating seduction scene, Siegal adroitly uses an ice pick to rip a lady’s clothes down the front. When one of Siegal’s lady friends had asked him what he did for a living, he responds matter-of-factly: “I kill people.”
Near the film’s end, during a meeting of crime heads in a church-like setting with a statue of a crucified Christ on the cross behind the Mafia don, mayhem breaks out as various individuals have their tongues slashed and cut out, and men are shot and killed in cold blood because they have lost “favor.”
The upshot of MOBSTERS is that Luciano emerges as the final crime head with his cohorts ruling with him, and they “clean up” on all fronts. Seemingly, crime does pay, as at the conclusion of the film, we learn about the “peaceable” deaths of the four gangsters. Were they able to “have their cake and eat it too?” Not so, if we pay attention to the Bible’s singular message: “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Mark 8:36).
The film’s muted cinematography is excellent as the camera glides smoothly from one scene to another, effecting seamless transitions. The acting, too, is competent, with Anthony Quinn as Masseria turning in a memorable performance.
MOBSTERS provides another example of man’s temporary, earthly circumstances triumphing over his eternal ones. As Christians, however, we understand the truth in Jesus Christ, and like Abraham, we look for “the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God” (Hebrews 11:10). Unlike the people in the film, we have made the wise choice, and the part that cannot be taken from us.