Squizzy Taylor

Director: Kevin Dobson
Screenwriters: Roger Simpson

Institute History

  • 1985 Sundance Film Festival


The height of the great Australian 1919 influenza epidemic with everyone wearing protective gauze masks makes an ideal cover for an enterprising young criminal: Squizzy Taylor, to Melbourne what Al Capone was to Chicago. His “rise” (Squizzy is only 5’2”) to gangland power is more a product of rival detectives who are concerned less with his crimes than their careers, and the media attention showered upon him by an aspiring newspaper reporter. But Squizzy makes it to the top long enough to say: “when you live, live in clover. For when you’re dead, you’re dead all over.” This colorful, eccentric character recalling any worth-his-salt Hollywood gangster (the young Cagney, in particular) is set amidst the rise of Melbourne in the gaudy 1920’s, a time of extravagance, impudence, dirty apartments and bawdy dancehalls, and a populace living vicariously on the thrills of Squizzy’s exploits. Davis Atkins start as Squizzy in a powerhouse performance.

Screening Details

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