Harvey Keitel plays Meyer Lansky in the crime thriller “Lansky.” Pool/Getty Images
Keitel’s the bomb of dons
Harvey Keitel’s 50-plus-year award-winning film career now includes the crime thriller “Lansky.”
“I play Meyer Lansky. A gangster in the old old days. The godfather of organized crime and boss of Murder Inc. I read up about him. I studied him online. He was an immigrant. His parents, who had a little education, fought Cossacks. Later he even organized to break up a Nazi rally, and a line he says is: ‘I wish I had killed them all.’
“The family came to America. Lower East Side. And he became the powerful guy in the Mafia. Even involved with Bugsy Siegel whom he didn’t like but who started Las Vegas. Lansky’s buried in Florida and we filmed in Alabama. Why Alabama? Save money. This budget movie cost $5 million, not $100 million. It’s not even spending too much with prosthetics. My character had huge ears so all they did was just change my ears. I didn’t even get to meet any of his living family members. Listen, it was just a five-week shoot.
“The FBI starts closing in on him near the end. And that’s where there’s a moving scene in a hospital room caring for his son who’s bedridden most of his life. It’s where we see Lansky stating his feelings emotionally for the boy.
“The movie takes place as the FBI closes in on him and tries to find where his multimillions are hid.”
Terminal New Yorkers, Harvey and his writer wife Daphna Kastner have been sidelined since the pandemic in LA. They miss civilization. Said Harvey as he hung up: “My son’s in school out here. I’m going out now with my wife and son to pick up a dog. The way I figure it is, the three of them will probably be around longer than I will.”
“Lansky” is a top movie on Amazon.
Meyer Lansky mugshot circa 1935.
Bureau of Prisons/Getty Images
Stars are speaking their minds
Remember Rose McGowan’s fraud or racketeering case against Harvey Weinstein? This client and her lawyers just went pffft and she’ll proceed pro se. Maybe new counsel later. Why? Depends on who’s speaking. An insider told an outsider the word is “difficult” . . . Moby once printed this on Moby.com: “America is essentially a right-wing country. We might resist this fact, but it is a fact. It’s not a fact in Manhattan . . . LA or San Francisco . . . We live in a divided country. Can’t we have the breakaway republics of ‘North-east-istan’ and ‘Pacific-stan’? Wouldn’t the red (Republican) states be happier without us? We could still travel freely and trade freely with them, but can’t we just leave? Then you could have three countries: Northeastistan, Pacificstan, Redstateistan.” OK. Let’s vote on Mobystan.
And here’s John Waters on pot: “Age 19 I was at NYU. I got caught by security smoking pot in my room. That was in ’65 when smoking grass was still new. It was the first marijuana bust on a college campus. There was even a book written with a chapter about me called ‘1 in 7: Drugs on Campus.’ As I packed my bags to leave, NYU kept threatening to have me arrested. Frankly, I was hoping they’d send me to jail so I could do the ultimate 16mm prison film. I wasn’t upset at all.” Waters describes this experience in his 2017 book, titled “Make Trouble.”
The Postal Service is losing money. The postmaster general is barking it may have to raise its rates again. I can’t understand why the snail mail service should have any deficit. Look at the way volume has increased — just on complaints alone.
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