THE GANGSTERS ALL HERE Live Tweet movie for Sat., Sept. 5: Steve McQueen in THE (GREAT) ST. LOUIS BANK ROBBERY (1959)

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I’m afraid I just can’t resist star power. This week’s movie features Steve McQueen in an early role.

Inexplicably, the movie is titled The Great St. Louis Bank Robbery in all of its advertising, even though the movie’s credits insist that the title is simply The St. Louis Bank Robbery. My guess is that the movie couldn’t conjure up enough attention or business with its original title, so they added the word Great to make it sound more prestigious. (In any case, once you view the movie, you’ll see that the word “great” is quite the misnomer in this instance.)

McQueen plays George, a college drop-out. (The movie makes this character trait explicit by having George walk around in his former letterman’s jacket throughout the movie’s first half.) George is coerced by his ex-girlfriend’s brother Gino into being the getaway driver for a bank heist that is being planned by the head of Gino’s gang. Along the way, there’s bad dialogue and acting, a smattering of homoeroticism, and an obnoxious pseudo-pop background song that would have been better used on “Sesame Street.”

The movie was based on an actual 1953 St. Louis bank robbery. The film’s makers made much of the fact that many of the police officers and local citizens who were involved in the robbery reenacted their parts in the movie. (This explains some of the amateurish acting in the movie’s climax but not the rest of the film.)

(Useless trivia: According to the Internet Movie Database, this movie has recently been remade with an updated story and re-titled American Heist, starring Adrien Brody and Star Wars’ Hayden Christiansen. It was to have been released this past July but has yet to see the light of an American movie screen.)

Join us at Twitter.com on Saturday at noon, if you know what’s good for you! https://twitter.com/BMovieBoss  #GangstersAllHere

Sunday Housekeeping

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Just a few notes for my six-score-and-three faithful followers:

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  • I can’t resist promoting my new blog that promotes my new Live Tweet on Twitter. I have just begun doing a Live Tweet at Twitter.com on Saturdays at 12 noon EST. Each week is devoted to one or two B-movie gangster films where you can join the Tweet and comment on the movie while it’s playing. The Twitter page for the group is at https://twitter.com/BMovieBoss. (If you follow along on the movie, use the hashtag #GangstersAllHere.) If you want to keep updated on the movie of the week, visit the blog at http://thegangstersallhere.wordpress.com. (You can also find our movie update at the sidebar on the right-hand side of this blog, as you can see.)

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  • Only two days left for the “Movies That Haven’t Aged Well” Blogathon! The blogathon is wide open until Aug. 31, and we’ve already received some terrific entries. If you’ve found that you loved a movie when you were younger, only to revisit it and find that it wasn’t all that it was cracked up to be, write about it on your blog, and link it to our blogathon here.

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  • If you have a favorite scene or movie of physical comedy from TV or the movies, don’t forget to ring in the season of autumn by joining our “See You in the ‘Fall'” Blogathon! Click here to learn more about and sign up for the blogathon, which runs Sept. 20-23.

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  • My continued thanks to all of the readers and followers of this blog. For about 45 years, I’ve been soaking up movies and wondering what I’d ever do with all of my “knowledge.” This has been a very fun way to share it!

THE GANGSTERS ALL HERE at Twitter.com, Sat., Aug. 29 at 12 noon EST – Our “debut” movie: Walter Matthau’s GANGSTER STORY

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Now that I’ve had a taste of Live Tweeting to old movies, I’m thoroughly addicted. So starting this Saturday, Aug. 29, I’m going to host a weekly Live Tweet on Twitter.com. It’s titled The Gangsters All Here and will be devoted to the kinds of gangster movies that only Ed Wood would have been proud to write and direct.

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To keep things simple for this Twitter debut, I’m going with a 1959 movie that’s generically titled Gangster Story. However, you’ll quickly find that it’s anything but routine. Its star and director is none other than Walter Matthau — yes, that Walter Matthau — who reportedly took the directing-acting gig on a dare. Based on the evidence of the final film, it’s a good thing nobody ever dared Matthau to jump off a cliff.

Matthau plays a down-on-his-luck escaped criminal who pulls off a bank heist when he’s desperate for money. The strange thing is how easily he pulls off a bank job that’s so elementary, he makes Woody Allen in Take the Money and Run look like a Mafioso.

The oddities don’t end there. Matthau cast his real-life wife, Carol Bruce, as a shy librarian who inexplicably falls for Matthau when he makes small talk with her in the library one day while trying to escape some hoods who are after him. And the movie’s pseudo-swanky theme song is written by Leonard Barr, whom TV viewers of a certain age (mine, sadly) will remember as a very abrasive comedian who often guested on “The Dean Martin Show” (primarily because he was Martin’s cousin).

Anyway, if you’d like to join the gang(sters) this Saturday, join me at my Twitter page, @MovieMovieBlogB at 12 noon EST. I will provide a link for you to watch the movie online for free via YouTube. If you want to comment about the movie at any point during its viewing, just use the hashtag #GangstersAllHere. I look forward to seeing you there!

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