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Frank's Movie Log

My life at the movies.

A still from The Rise and Fall of Legs Diamond (1960)

The Rise and Fall of Legs Diamond

1960 | United States | 101 min
aka:
  • The Life and Death of Legs Diamond
  • Watched on Monday Feb 8, 2021 via Watch TCM
    C+: 3 stars (out of 5)

    Entertaining revival of the classic Warner Bros. gangster picture. Ray Danton plays the titular Diamond, a small-time thief who claws his way to the top of the New York rackets. Warren Oates—in just his second credited feature—plays Diamond’s sickly brother. Watching the gleefully cynical Diamond off competitors and toss aside compatriots with no remorse as he climbs the criminal ladder proves great fun. But the film stumbles when it downshifts into melodrama. Portraying Diamond as needy or clingy contradicts the archetype. There’s a reason the classic Warner gangsters went down shooting.

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