being a film "junkie" has plenty of perks (and none of the drawbacks usually associated with that term). one of which is seeing a great star like matthau when he was just getting started, playing (unless i'm mistaken) the type of part he'd never done before, or did afterward.
in this case, gangster. it's such a mind-blowing experience to see matthau play a gangster (he simply didn't come across well as a villain), that you're able to overlook how bad he is at it (l.o.l.) it's a case of novelty outstripping authenticity. he was such a likable actor that you're able to forgive this short film its faults, and relax in the comfort of knowing that you're seeing a real rarity.