The Don Is Dead [DVD] [1973]

Universal's disc of The Don Is Dead offers a solid budget-line edition of this film. The letterboxed video transfer is a nice one, lending Richard Kline's earthy, dark cinematography a much-needed sharpness that was lacking in the film's videotape incarnation. Sound options are limited to the original mono soundtrack, but dialogue and effects have plenty of clarity despite the lack of stereo separation. The only extra is a trailer, but it's a pretty entertaining one -- a punchy combination of clips and optically enhanced still images that give the film an old-fashioned 'hard sell.' Some fans might be disappointed by the lack of extras or a stereo soundtrack remix, but it's really nice to see such a lesser-known catalog title be released at all, much less given a decent remastering job. To sum up, Universal's disc of The Don Is Dead offers gangster fans a reasonably priced way to get acquainted with this forgotten genre entry.
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Special Features

  • Closed Captioned


The Don Is Dead
In this organized crime drama (one of many that came in the wake of The Godfather), Frank (Robert Forster) is the son of a mafia kingpin. He puts together a heroin deal with the assist of brothers Vince (Al Lettieri) and Tony (Frederic Forrest), but realizes that a snitch is present when gunmen burst in and interrupt the drug deal. Shortly thereafter, Frank's father dies. The old man's rackets get divided between two mob families, one headed up by Don Angelo (Anthony Quinn) - but Vince and Tony refuse to follow Angelo's leadership. In the mean time, mob accountant Orlando (Charles Cioffi), whose boss, Don Bernardo (J. Duke Russo), is behind bars, devises and begins to execute a wild plan to bring himself to a position of power in the mob; he engineers a situation that will put Frank's sexy fiancee Ruby (Angel Tompkins) into the arms of Don Angelo, thereby sending Frank into a murderous rage. Cult figure Sid Haig has a supporting role as The Arab. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Anthony Quinn
    Anthony Quinn - Don Angelo
  • Frederic Forrest
    Frederic Forrest - Tony
  • Robert Forster
    Robert Forster - Frank
  • Al Lettieri
    Al Lettieri - Vince
  • Angel Tompkins
    Angel Tompkins - Ruby
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