The mob film, found its zenith in the 1970s. Thanks largely to the success of THE GODFATHER film. The organisation, La Cozza Nostra, the Corporation et al, was front and centre. THE DON IS DEAD was released in this air in 1973, and it seemed to float away. THE GODFATHER II ended this mob legend but maybe it caused some great films, to be lost in the stream.

Vegas crime don Frank Regal (Robert Forster) father dies. He is now under the protection of Don Angelo DiMorra (Quinn), but rival families sense opportunities. They want to trigger a gang war and destroy the DiMorra clan. Frank is tricked into thinking his girlfriend Ruby (Angel Tomkins) is locked in an affair with Don Angelo.  Frank anger spills over and he decides to take revenge.

Directed by jobbing director and master of variety, Richard Fleischer. He made a broad canvas of cinema and made the majority, really, really well indeed. THE DON IS DEAD is way up there with the likes of SOYLENT GREEN, VIOLENT SATURDAY, THE NARROW MARGIN and his best film THE BOSTON STRANGLER. Though positioned as a simple crime/ mob drama, it ends up being a darker Shakespearian tale of fathers, sons, love and revenge. Quinn is the pivot that keeps the film turning. He gives an emotional and restrained performance as the boss who cares. This is counter acted by his adopted son. Forster is punchy, mean and steams with youthful venom. Laying on physical violence and verbal assaults. The two transverse the story with one tender and merciful. It makes the piece a whole. Fleischer knew how to give his films the range that would get his audience going.


  • 1080p presentation on Blu-ray
  • Uncompressed LPCM audio (original mono presentation)
  • Brand new feature length audio commentary by author Scott Harrison
  • Theatrical trailer
  • A collector’s booklet featuring an extensive essay on the crime films of director Richard Fleischer by film writer and journalist Barry Forshaw

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