Charlie Luciano, Meyer Lansky, Ben Siegel and Frank Costello are four friends in New York who work together to make a living. They do this by making profit during the prohibition in the US and with the help of the Jewish criminal Arnold Rothstein. However, their activities have grown so big that they’ve come into the spotlight of the two major mob bosses in the area, Don Salvatore Faranzano and Don Giuseppe Masseria. Both are interested in taking over Luciano’s business as this might sway the balance of power in the area towards he who manages to get Luciano and his friends on board.
Although this looks like an interesting position, Charlie and his friends realise that this is also very dangerous. By trying to play both bosses out against each other, they try to remain independent for as long as possible until they’re strong enough to make decent demands. But will the bosses give them the time that’s necessary?
Sound and Vision:
For a movie from 1991, Mobsters has decent image quality with not too many compression errors or grain. Also the contrast is reasonable and things don’t look too dated.
The 2.0 soundtrack does its job but nothing more. Dialogues are clear and understandable but don’t expect any major special effects.
Mobsters tells the story of Lucky Luciano’s rise in the criminal world of New York during the prohibition. The movie has a great cast including Christian Slater, Patrick Dempsey, Richard Grieco, F. Murray Abraham, Lara Flynn Boyle, Michael Gambon, Chris Penn and Anthony Quinn, but doesn’t manage to rise to the level of major gangster movies like Goodfellas or The Godfather. The reason for that is probably that the story isn’t as deep as with previously mentioned titles and the main cast don’t look overly convincing as hard-ass mobsters. While there’s plenty of killing going around, the main characters look like a bunch of teenagers that are having the time of their lives and even psychopath Bugsy Siegel looks like an adorable pussycat. Still, Mobsters is entertaining and gives a glimpse at how the mob in the US changed form over the years with the rise of Lucky Luciano and his friends.
Mobsters can be seen as a decent TV movie and as such, Universal delivers it with reasonable image and sound quality. Some extras like a documentary on the maffia would have been interesting though.