During the era of Prohibition, gangsters gained enormous power by controlling the illicit drink. The most infamous was a thug from Brooklyn who murdered his way to the top and was, for a time, one of the most powerful men in the United States.
In this unusually accurate biography, small-time hood Al Capone (Rod Steiger) comes to Chicago at the dawn of Prohibition to be the bodyguard of racketeer Johnny Torrio. Capone's rise in Chicago gangdom is followed through murder, extortion, and political fraud. He becomes head of Chicago's biggest "business," but moves inexorably toward his downfall and ignominious end.