Gangster Movies: (ca 1991) This movie is based on the rise of four leading organized crime figures, from the end of WW 1 to the early thirties. The central character, Charles (Lucky) Luciano (Christian Slater) is credited with introducing modern corporate governance to a group of organizations previously based on ethnic affiliation and loyalty to a chief. Luciano and his associates Meyer Lansky, Frank Costello and Bugsy Siegel works to bring down two aging Dons whose time has come. The Dons, played by Anthony Quinn and Michael Gambon, are certainly ruthless, but their imaginations are limited. The young Turks on the other hand see new markets and new alliances. In the new mafia, Irishmen, Russian Jews and others work alongside Italians.
Lara Flynn Boyle’s character of Mara is loosely based on the real-life Gay Orlova, a chorus girl and escort whom Lucky Luciano dated while in New York.
Feature-film debut of commercial director Michael Karbelnikoff, who replaced Luis Mandoki after Mandoki dropped out of the project.
Working title was “Gangsters”.
In real life, Anthony Quinn was a close personal friend of gangster Frank Costello after the mob boss retired and until Costello’s death.
When “Lucky” Luciano and the others bring in “Mad Dog” Coll to offer him a chance to move to California, they get into a discussion about Coll’s style of killing, to which Coll slaps “Bugsy” Siegel on the knee and laughs out “There’s nothing so pretty as the back of a man’s head!” Ironically, when Bugsy Siegel was murdered in 1947, he was shot through the back of the head.