Cinema: In the Tradition

Machine Gun McCain is an Italian gangster film in the old American tradition, manufactured with the kind of sardonic reverence that made many of the spaghetti Westerns so much cockeyed fun. The plot creaks with age: an ex-con named Hank McCain (John Cassavetes) gets sprung from the pen after serving twelve years of a life sentence. "How's it feel to be outside again, Dad?" beams his benefactor at the prison gate. "Don't ever call me that," snarls McCain, who regards his foppish son with heavy-lidded suspicion.

Sonny, it seems, has managed to parole his...

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