Lansky

Directed by John McNaughton

This HBO feature ought to be a treat: a biopic of Meyer Lansky, the Mob's chief financial officer, starring Richard Dreyfuss and written by David Mamet. Dreyfuss gets to spit out some Mametian wisdom--"People dislike what they envy"--but mostly Dreyfuss and the movie are sluggish, as old Meyer dawdles through his memories. What's left is a gallery of dark haberdashery and hard faces. Still, a tip of the fedora to the reliably fabulous Beverly d'Angelo (as a brassy Mrs. Lansky) and to Eric Roberts (Bugsy Siegel). Roberts smiles and snarls through a visage of cracked pottery, or cracked poetry.

--By...

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