Co-writer/ director Russell Rouse’s tremendous hardboiled 1955 gangster movie is both revealing and exciting. It tells the story about the rise and fall of corrupt businessman Charlie Lupo (Broderick Crawford)’s crime ring in Manhattan, New York.
Lupo takes on Nick Magellan (Richard Conte) as his right-hand hit-man and encourages him in a romance with his daughter Kathy (Bancroft), and she is in love with Nick, but she however hates organised crime and all its exponents.
Great performances from the three ideally cast stars put over their sturdily written characters with a real punch. Rouse’s and Clarence Greene’s gritty screenplay, Rouse’s realistic film noir handling and a clutch of compelling support turns from a particularly strong cast (Marilyn Maxwell, J Carrol Naish, Onslow Stevens, Barry Kelley, Celia Lovsky, Mike Mazurki) complete a top B-movie package, revitalising a familiar story.
Director Rouse contributes an edgy atmosphere and a rattling pace, basing the script on the idea of being suggested by a book by Jack Lait and Lee Mortimer.
Also in the cast are Steven Geray, Nestor Paiva, Joseph Vitale, Henry Kulky, William ‘Bill’ Phillips, Herbert Heyes and Fortunio Bonanova.
Anne Bancroft (1931-2005) – ‘The Consummate Everything’.
© Derek Winnert 2017 Classic Movie Review 5212
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