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The undercover cop Rocky Thorpe infiltrates a crime syndicate being run by the incarcerated mob boss John Franklin. Franklin conducts his business via a short-wave radio concealed in his cell. One day Franklin is caught and placed in solitary confinement. Thorpe, Franklin's physical double, takes his place. Soon changes in the gang's activities are subtly made. Thorpe orders the mob to keep careful records of their activities, to gather enough evidence to convict them all. Trouble ensues when Franklin escapes from jail. Written by
Sometimes when you watch an old movie, you just have to suspend disbelief just a bitand if you can't, you probably won't enjoy the film. "The Gangs of New York" is exactly such a film. It uses one of the oldest clichés in moviethe identical stranger. But, providing you can look past this, it's a dandy and entertaining picture.
When the film begins, you learn that although the evil mobster, Rocky, is in prison, he's still running his criminal empireand the police seem unable to stop them. But, when it just happens that there is an identical copy of Rocky and he works for the police, they decide to release the fake Rocky and have him infiltrate the mob and get evidence on their actions. However, because he doesn't know everything the real Rocky is supposed to know and because he doesn't act like the old Rocky, some of the gang becomes suspicious. But, when the REAL Rocky escapes , you know that something bad will happen and fast!
Yes, I know it's impossible to have a man look EXACTLY like another as well as sound EXACTLY like him, but it works. Much of it is because Charles Bickford was great in the leading roles. He was fun to watch and his gangster ways were pretty funny because they were so extreme. Also, the writing (despite the clichéd plot) was quite goodespecially the dialog. It's actually one of the better Republic B-movies from the era. Well worth seeing because it's so much fun.
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