Submitted by Evil Ed
First lead actor film role for Charles Bronson, this Roger Corman noir has a great screenplay, terrific music score by Gerald Fried, a memorable performance by Susan Cabot, and got Corman his first critical acclaim.
George “Machine-Gun” Kelly (Charles Bronson) is afraid of dying. He gets agitated at any iconography or mention of death.
This fear leads him to botch the robbery of the construction payroll at Merchants Bank because he hesitates when two men unload a coffin from a truck in front of him as he is about to enter the bank. The resulting shootout leaves Maize (Wally Campo) dead and leads a vengeful Howard (Jack Lambert) to form a rival gang.
While hiding out at his gun moll Flo’s (Susan Cabot) mother’s (Connie Gilchrest) house, Flo shames George into killing Howard and his gang. After the hit, George gets the idea to make big money and headlines by kidnapping. They kidnap the daughter (Lori Martin) of a steel magnate (Robert Griffin) and her nurse (Barboura Morris). Flo instigates some infighting among the gang, which leads George to shoot Apple (Richard Devon).
Fanny (Morey Amsterdam) rats out the gang in retaliation for George using Harry’s (Frank de Kova) mountain lion to rip off Fanny’s left arm, after Fanny tried to skim five grand off of the Lincoln Bank heist at the beginning of the film.
With their hideout surrounded, George blames Flo for goading him into committing more ambitious crimes and becoming “Public Enemy #1”. Harry shoots Fanny for betraying the gang. Harry is shot by a police sniper.
Flo wants to shoot it out with police, but George is afraid to. When the police tell Flo that her parents are in custody, Flo plans to surrender and blame George for everything. George knocks her out as the police storm the hideout. George is on his knees, distraught, and the police call him “Pop-Gun” Kelly as they usher him away.