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Billy Bathgate

Year: 1991
Director: Robert Benton
Cast: Dustin Hoffman, Nicole Kidman, Bruce Willis, Steve Buscemi, Stanley Tucci
One of those films notorious for its bad performance, like Cimino's Heaven's Gate and Harlin's Cutthroat Island. It's not the best nor the worst gangster epic - not as sweeping or historical as Once Upon a Time in America and smaller scale than the Godfather trilogy.

It's more like the De Niro/Palminteri collaboration A Bronx Tale, tracking the rise through the ranks of an organised crime empire of a street kid in prohibition-era New York.

Taken in by true life crime boss Dutch Schultz (Hoffman), Billy treads a dangerous line between belonging and betraying his new family. At times horrified by the violence they visit upon their political and business enemies, but besotted with Schultz' beautiful mistress Drew (Kidman) and the money and glamour.

It leads to the massacre that killed Schultz and several of his men by what would become the new breed of crime boss in America, Lucky Luciano (Tucci).

Entertaining in slightly waxing and waning way, with a fairly generic lead in Loren Dean who unsurprisingly has gone nowhere, early talent by Kidman before she was really showing any, while more seasoned pros like Willis, Tucci and Hoffman are mostly coasting.

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