Barry Sulivan is a cynical gangster who controls the Neptune Beach waterfront. He runs a numbers racket with the local soda shop owner: the police are in his pocket and the local hoods are on his payroll.
Chubunka is the self-made head of the rackets in the sleazy boardwalk community of Neptune City, a low-rent version of Coney Island. He has become infatuated with a sultry nightclub chanteuse and lavishes her with gifts and attention, spending money on her that might better go to maintaining his hold on his operation. His obsession with her, as well as his pride, clouds his judgment as Cornell, a much more ruthless hoodlum, moves in on Chubunka's territory, bribes and threatens his associates, and compromises his operation. As if in a Greek tragedy, the petty gangster's weaknesses conspire to cause his downfall. Written by
When Jammy gets the note from Cornell's hood, the rain is pouring all around him, but when the camera cuts into his face holding the umbrella, there are no raindrops hitting the puddles behind him. See more »
[Opening lines of first person narration as the camera dollies back from an ugly expressionistic painting]
That was what I was. I work the rackets... dirty rackets... ugly rackets. I was no hypocrite. I knew everything I did was low and rotten. I knew what people thought of me. What difference did it make? What did I care?
[Lying in bed looking at his face in a mirror]
I got scarred - sure! It can hurt a little when you fight your way out of a gutter.
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As a film noir entousiasme, I don't rate this film on the top ten of the genre. But it has some moments. Some great shots by Cinematographer Paul Ivano that would deserve being laminated and hanged on a wall. I'll let you notice them. Also check out a young 24 years old Shelley Winter with a 10 seconds scene as a waitress.
In brief a movie carried by cinematography more than acting, by atmosphere more than by a script.
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