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New cinematic take on most famous U.S. tax cheat

Al Capone mug shot_US DoJ_tax evasion arrest
This U.S. Department of Justice mug shot of Al Capone was taken four months before his tax eviction conviction on Oct. 17, 1931. It's 89 years, later and Scarface still gets our attention, most recently in a movie about his later days.

If there's one tiny sliver of silver lining in coronavirus self-isolation, it's that I feel a bit better about shelling out money for added television features.

During our stay-home time, the hubby and I are taking advantage of premium cable, as well as the multiple streaming platforms to which we subscribe. Right now, my viewing tastes are winning. We're watching a lot of mystery/crime-themed shows.

We just wrapped up Bosch on Amazon Prime and then flipped over to Netflix to start Money Heist. I also recommend Mad Dogs, a single-season (albeit gory) gem from Amazon that aired a few years ago.

Another cinematic Capone: In case that's not enough — the hubby and I aren't as optimistic as the White House or our Texas state officials in thinking that the COVID-19 threat is easing — I just added to my watch list Tom Hardy's portrayal of the United States' most famous tax cheat, Al Capone.


As everyone knows, Scarface was the gangland boss in Prohibition Era Chicago and allegedly behind such infamous murders as the St. Valentine's Day Massacre. But he was sent to Alcatraz not for brutal crimes, but for not paying his taxes.

Yep, the notorious bootlegger went to the Big House for not paying income tax on his gains from illicit traffic in liquor. The IRS has always been serious about money, whether earned legally or via criminal methods, being taxable.

It's almost a century later and the Internal Revenue Service is still making tax PR hay out of the takedown of, at the time, the country's most wanted criminal. I'm definitively not judging. IRS investigators deserve all this decades old glory. And I writing (and you reading) this post about Capone prove that there's still interest and fascination.

So I'll definitely spend an hour and 43 minutes watching Hardy in "Capone," which movie reviewer Brian Truitt calls "an intriguing portrait of the gangster as a dying man, waylaid by madness, paranoia and out-of-control bodily functions."

True crime entertainment shout outs: Truitt's take — Tom Hardy shines as the feral remnant of an infamous gangster in the wild new 'Capone' — in USA Today is one of two Saturday Shout Out features this weekend. The other is Bryan Alexander's fact-checking of the movie, also in the Gannett national newspaper, in What's true, what's not in Tom Hardy's new gangster movie.

Not to spoil anything, but I couldn't not mention one plot point. It seems there might be $10 million still hidden on Capone's property somewhere, but the once robust crime lord is in no real condition to remember where. Calling Geraldo Rivera!

If you, like me, enjoy crime stories, you might want to check out "Capone." You can rent it now on, among other operators, Amazon, Google Play and iTunes. Or wait until it eventually shows up on a streaming service to which you're already subscribed. Heck, we might still be in self-quarantine by then!

Capone tinted print, too: In between television watching, I'm also catching up on my reading. A Capone book, of course, is on my reading list.

Al Capone at the Blanch Hotel book cover"Al Capone at the Blanche Hotel" is romance novel, not usually my cup of tea, but one where, as one reviewer says, has its "characters move through time and reap the consequences of their choices and actions."

Plus Capone. At a real historic Lake City, Florida, hotel where the crime boss reportedly stopped over during his travels from Chicago to his Miami retreat.

You can see why I had to buy this historical novel "of lives unfolding in different centuries, but linked and irrevocably altered by a series of murders in 1930."

I hope you're making it through the COVID-19 isolation, self-imposed or still state mandated in some places, OK. If these movie, TV and book suggestions help during this extraordinary time, all the better.

And if you're looking for some additional Capone tax tidbits, you can always check out my prior posts:

Doing time for tax crimes

Was Al Capone an IRS victim?

Happy 79th birthday, Alcatraz prison

Taxes, not Tommy guns, to fight crime

Capone tax investigation info now public

Al Capone convicted of tax evasion on Oct. 17, 1931

IRS celebrating 100 years of capturing tax criminals

How Prohibition made us more reliant on the income tax

Follow the criminal tax money at Las Vegas' Mob Museum

IRS criminal investigators tout 2019 successes, look to year 101's tax crime challenges

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Miro Torg

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