The St. Valentine's Day Massacre (1967)

100 mins | Melodrama | 30 June 1967

Director:

Roger Corman

Writer:

Howard Browne

Producer:

Roger Corman

Cinematographer:

Milton Krasner

Production Designers:

Jack Martin Smith, Phil Jeffries

Production Companies:

Corman Co., Inc., Los Altos, Inc.
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HISTORY

According to a 29 Jun 1966 DV news story, Roger Corman began work on The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre for Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp. immediately after ending a contractual relationship with Columbia Pictures over “artistic differences” on A Time for Killing (1967 see entry). Scripting began in late 1965, as indicated by an 8 Dec 1965 Var article listing sixteen Fox projects currently in development. The 31 Aug 1966 Var reported a ten-week shooting schedule and $2.5 million budget, which was markedly higher than many of Corman’s other films at that time.
       Although Corman reportedly expressed interest in casting Marlon Brando as legendary Chicago, IL, gangster “Al Capone,” the role went to Jason Robards. Items in the 12 Jul 1966 and 1 Nov 1966 DV claimed that Jack Kelly, Lana Wood, and Mary Michael were also considered to appear.
       Principal photography began 24 Oct 1964, as stated in a DV production chart published four days later. According to an 8 Nov 1966 LAT story, filming took place on Stage 8 of the Fox studio lot in Los Angeles, CA, since Chicago proved unsuitable for the period setting due to the presence of modern street fixtures. Machine gun effects were achieved using circuit-laced striker boards; the 21 Dec 1966 DV estimated that “dummy” ammunition costs exceeded $9,000 for 10,000 bullets (priced at fifty cents apiece) and 20,000 explosive squibs (twenty cents apiece) to simulate wounds on the actors.
       Roles were supposedly allocated to six-year-old Brian Rapp, son of associate producer Paul Rapp, and four-year-old Laura Barry, son of assistant director Wesley ... More Less

According to a 29 Jun 1966 DV news story, Roger Corman began work on The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre for Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp. immediately after ending a contractual relationship with Columbia Pictures over “artistic differences” on A Time for Killing (1967 see entry). Scripting began in late 1965, as indicated by an 8 Dec 1965 Var article listing sixteen Fox projects currently in development. The 31 Aug 1966 Var reported a ten-week shooting schedule and $2.5 million budget, which was markedly higher than many of Corman’s other films at that time.
       Although Corman reportedly expressed interest in casting Marlon Brando as legendary Chicago, IL, gangster “Al Capone,” the role went to Jason Robards. Items in the 12 Jul 1966 and 1 Nov 1966 DV claimed that Jack Kelly, Lana Wood, and Mary Michael were also considered to appear.
       Principal photography began 24 Oct 1964, as stated in a DV production chart published four days later. According to an 8 Nov 1966 LAT story, filming took place on Stage 8 of the Fox studio lot in Los Angeles, CA, since Chicago proved unsuitable for the period setting due to the presence of modern street fixtures. Machine gun effects were achieved using circuit-laced striker boards; the 21 Dec 1966 DV estimated that “dummy” ammunition costs exceeded $9,000 for 10,000 bullets (priced at fifty cents apiece) and 20,000 explosive squibs (twenty cents apiece) to simulate wounds on the actors.
       Roles were supposedly allocated to six-year-old Brian Rapp, son of associate producer Paul Rapp, and four-year-old Laura Barry, son of assistant director Wesley E. Barry.
       The world premiere was scheduled for 30 Jun 1967 at the B&K Roosevelt Theatre in Chicago, as Var announced two days earlier. The citywide Los Angeles engagement began 12 Jul 1967, with New York City dates to begin at the Warner Theatre two weeks later, on 26 Jul 1967. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
29 Jun 1966
p. 3.
Daily Variety
12 Jul 1966
p. 2.
Daily Variety
28 Oct 1966
p. 10.
Daily Variety
1 Nov 1966
p. 2.
Daily Variety
1 Nov 1966
p. 3.
Daily Variety
21 Dec 1966
p. 2.
Daily Variety
30 Jun 1967
p. 3, 10.
Los Angeles Times
8 Nov 1966
Section C, p. 8.
Los Angeles Times
20 Jun 1967
Section D, p. 10.
Los Angeles Times
12 Jul 1967
Section D, p. 12.
New York Times
27 Jul 1967
p. 29.
Variety
8 Dec 1965
p. 21.
Variety
23 Feb 1966
p. 25.
Variety
31 Aug 1966
p. 14.
Variety
28 Jun 1967
p. 7.
Variety
5 Jul 1967
p. 16.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANIES
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
MUSIC
Mus--main & end titl
Mus cond
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec photog eff
Spec photog eff
Spec photog eff
MAKEUP
Makeup
Hairstyles
PRODUCTION MISC
Unit prod mgr
DETAILS
Release Date:
30 June 1967
Premiere Information:
Chicago premiere and opening: 30 June 1967
Los Angeles opening: 12 July 1967
New York City opening: 26 July 1967
Production Date:
24 October--December 1966
Copyright Claimant:
Corman Co., Inc.
Copyright Date:
30 June 1967
Copyright Number:
LP34594
Physical Properties:
Sound
Westrex
Color
De Luxe
Widescreen/ratio
Panavision
Duration(in mins):
100
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

In the late 1920's Chicago is the crime capital of the world. In 9 years 618 known murders have been committed, none of them officially solved, and gang lords have grossed over $350 million from prohibition and illegal operations. Undisputed king of the underworld is the notorious Al Capone, who sends hoodlums like Peter and Frank Gusenberg to force bar owners into buying his beer instead of that of Bugs Moran, leader of the rival North Side gang. Determined to wrest control from Capone, Moran is planning to slay Patsy Lolardo, head of the dreaded Mafia and a close friend of Capone's. Similarly, Capone has ordered his right-hand man, Jack McGurn, to arrange for the mass murder of Moran and his mob. First to act is Moran, who has the Mafia boss shot down, hoping that his successor will withdraw support from Capone. But Capone quickly evens the score by trapping the potential successor on a train and slashing his throat with a razor. He then puts into motion his plan to get Moran. On the morning of February 14, 1929, some of Capone's gang pose as hijackers and sell a shipment of booze to Moran's hoodlums. The rest of the gang, dressed as policemen, raid the garage where the exchange is being transacted and mow down seven of Moran's men with tommyguns. Capone, who is establishing his alibi in Florida, learns that Moran was not present at the massacre. Though no one is ever brought to trial for the slaughter, the killers all die violent deaths within 22 months; and public indignation eventually effects Capone's ... +


In the late 1920's Chicago is the crime capital of the world. In 9 years 618 known murders have been committed, none of them officially solved, and gang lords have grossed over $350 million from prohibition and illegal operations. Undisputed king of the underworld is the notorious Al Capone, who sends hoodlums like Peter and Frank Gusenberg to force bar owners into buying his beer instead of that of Bugs Moran, leader of the rival North Side gang. Determined to wrest control from Capone, Moran is planning to slay Patsy Lolardo, head of the dreaded Mafia and a close friend of Capone's. Similarly, Capone has ordered his right-hand man, Jack McGurn, to arrange for the mass murder of Moran and his mob. First to act is Moran, who has the Mafia boss shot down, hoping that his successor will withdraw support from Capone. But Capone quickly evens the score by trapping the potential successor on a train and slashing his throat with a razor. He then puts into motion his plan to get Moran. On the morning of February 14, 1929, some of Capone's gang pose as hijackers and sell a shipment of booze to Moran's hoodlums. The rest of the gang, dressed as policemen, raid the garage where the exchange is being transacted and mow down seven of Moran's men with tommyguns. Capone, who is establishing his alibi in Florida, learns that Moran was not present at the massacre. Though no one is ever brought to trial for the slaughter, the killers all die violent deaths within 22 months; and public indignation eventually effects Capone's downfall. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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