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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Gangster > Special Interest > Don’t Call Me Bugsy + Where’s Jimmy Hoffa? (1992/MPI DVDs)

Don’t Call Me Bugsy + Where’s Jimmy Hoffa? (1992/MPI DVDs)


Picture: C     Sound: C+     Extras: D     Main Programs: B-



When you see the MPI logo pr5oudly announce the company has been in business since 1976, know that they have a very interesting archive, including some special interest tiles that are better than you might think and are the kind that made home video fun early on.  Maybe big screen feature films about gangster Ben Siegel and James Hoffa were an impetus for these productions, but the shows made are decent, have some great interviews and good stock footage of the kind you would see more often before everyone become copyright crazy.  Some of that footage is just great.


Don’t Call Me Bugsy runs 70 minutes and offers interviews with movie writer Charles Bennett, writer Max Allan Collins (Road To Perdition) and Rose Marie (yes, of The Dick Van Dyke Show) as it traces the man’s roots from his young days in the slums to his crazy (literally for how dementedly murderous he was) ways and his fateful meeting with the Virginia Hill.  It offers some brutal stories and brutal realities, including Hill herself testifying in front of Congress!


Where’s Jimmy Hoffa? made at the same time runs 85 minutes and offers the same decent content, but also delves into the myths, rumors and legends Hoffa’s story have inspired and perpetuated before and since his disappearance.  While I was not a big fan of the Barry Levinson Bugsy film, I though Danny DeVito’s Hoffa was a bit better and not as glossed-over.  There is also more story to work with and this special does not disappoint.  Note the interviewees are less-known.


The 1.33 X 1 on both shows its age originating on NTSC video, but color can be consistent and the content is as diverse in quality as you would expect from any such documentary work.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 sound is barely stereo, if that, throughout, but survives better than the image, which is good since many of the interviewees are no longer with us.  There are no extras.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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