Hank McCain (an intense John Cassavetes) gets released from jail (in a scene shot at San Quentin Prison without permits) after serving 12 years for armed robbery. He then meets and suddenly marries a hot blonde (Britt Ekland in full sexual animal mode) in Las Vegas. McCain: Twelve years in prison, I still get a kick out of these lights. Irene: They’re beautiful. McCain: They’re not beautiful. They’re cheap. It’s an attraction for sad, fat businessmen begging for more money. For hustlers, for thieves, for pimps. I love it. McCain hooks up with his son who wants to rob a Mafia-controlled casino. But the mob decides to use McCain as a pawn to expand their territory in Vegas. Preceding “The Godfather” by 3 years, this excellent 1969 mafia movie directed by Giuliano Montaldo (Grand Slam) has a marvelous score by Ennio Morricone and a great cast.
John Cassavetes is terrific and Britt Ekland… looks pretty. Tony Kendall (Kommissar X) plays a badass hitman and Gena Rowlands is awesome, but sadly underused, as McCain’s old flame. Peter “Columbo” Falk is the best part of the movie; He plays a bad tempered gangster, and one of my favorite actresses Florinda Bolkan (A Lizard in a Woman’s Skin) plays Falk’s wife. The film has colorful cinematography, car chases and one of the coolest heist scenes ever; McCain decides to blow up the casino with explosives and walk off with the money! He also likes shooting people (hence the title), so when his son is killed by some of Falk’s goons, he reacts by giving sexy looks to the camera – and then he does what we all would in that situation; Takes on the mob single handedly with his machine gun!! Less violent and blood-thirsty than the average 1970’s Italian crime film, but Machine Gun McCain is another great example of the genre and comes highly recommended.
Release year: 1969
Director: Giuliano Montaldo
Stars: John Cassavetes, Peter Falk, Britt Ekland, Florinda Bolkan