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Black Hand (1950)

Passed  |   |  Crime, Film-Noir, Thriller  |  12 March 1950 (USA)
6.5
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 486 users  
Reviews: 17 user | 11 critic

Now grown-up, Johnny Columbo returns to New York from Italy having sworn a vendetta against the Black Hand who killed his father years earlier. Becoming romantically involved with a girl ... See full summary »

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Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
J. Carrol Naish ...
Teresa Celli ...
Isabella Gomboli
...
Caesar Xavier Serpi
Frank Puglia ...
Carlo Sabballera
Barry Kelley ...
Police Capt. Thompson
Mario Siletti ...
Benny Danetta / Nino
Carl Milletaire ...
George Allani / Tomasino
Peter Brocco ...
Roberto Columbo
Eleonora von Mendelssohn ...
Maria Columbo (as Eleonora Mendelssohn)
Grazia Narciso ...
Mrs. Danetta
Maurice Samuels ...
Moriani
Burk Symon ...
Judge
...
Prosecutor
...
Mrs. Sabballera
Edit

Storyline

Now grown-up, Johnny Columbo returns to New York from Italy having sworn a vendetta against the Black Hand who killed his father years earlier. Becoming romantically involved with a girl from school and meeting up with an honest cop also fighting the gangs, Columbo starts to wonder if there may be legal ways to defeat them. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

12 March 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Knife  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

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User Reviews

 
Vivid, slightly romanticized version of true efforts to fight NYC mafia
2 May 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Black Hand (1950)

Sandwiched between his many superb musicals, this straight up drama has Gene Kelly playing an Italian returning home to find out who murdered his father years before. It's very well made—crisp writing and editing, excellent acting, and a kind of mise-en-scene that seems about right for bustling New York.

The pressure Italian mobsters press onto their own neighborhood Italian store owners and merchants is terrible and maddening, of course, and here we are made to feel it as directly as a movie can manage. Besides Kelly, two other actors are just superlative—J. Carol Naish, playing the police detective who eventually goes to Italy to find evidence, and the store owner (whose name I can't find in a hurry). Oddly, both Naish and Kelly are Irish-Americans playing Italians in early 20th Century New York.

The plot is a bit forced, as this kind of large social-issue movie usually ends up doing. The mob (known as the Black Hand) is making life miserable for average folk, and whenever one resists, they end up dying or almost. But somebody has to do something about this, so between the cops (some Italian, some not) and the heroics of one individual (played by Kelly), the thugs are brought down one little notch.

But if you go along with inevitable victory of the little guy over the forces of evil, you'll see a really finely made drama with terrific acting (Kelly is no slouch and Naish is brilliant) and excellent filming (almost inevitable in lat 1940s American cinema). There are lots of other characters, a few chilling scenes, some dreamy idealism, and in all a look at the times with only a slight filter over the harsher reality that is, always, the truth.


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