PRIME CUT (1972) – Directed by Michael Ritchie. Prime Cut was released less than 4 months after The Godfather but it’s difficult to think of two more different gangster films. And I say that as a good thing. Prime Cut is not trying for the epic, operatic scope of The Godfather, it’s just a fairly solid street-level gangster flick with a few admittedly silly action sequences.
The Chicago Syndicate bosses are being disrespected by a subordinate Kansas boss who is itching to break out from under their thumb and take complete control of his own little empire. Part of that figurative declaration of independence took the form of not sending the Chicago boys their required tribute, or “cut.”
The Windy City mob sent a tough-guy “negotiator” to try leaning on the Kansas rebel only to have that Jayhawk State gangster take things to the next level by having the tough-guy killed, then literally ground into hot dog meat. Adding insult to injury the Kansas boss sent the hot dogs/ bodily remains of the negotiator back to Chicago in the package they were supposed to use to send their tribute money.
Chicago’s response is to send four button men under the command of one of their coldest, most hard-assed enforcers, to Kansas to bring the upstart back into line by whatever means prove necessary. Much bloodshed ensues, with butchery and slaughterhouses of all kinds reflecting the title theme.
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