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When the owner of a printing shop is found dead, the District Attorney assumes that it was a suicide. But the Assistant D.A., Howard Malloy, suspects that there is a connection with an extremist political group called the 'Crusaders'. When a journalist whose articles had attacked the Crusaders is also killed, Malloy is convinced. With help from the widow of a prominent judge, he conducts an investigation. As he does so, he meets a peculiar political boss and also an attractive night club singer, each of whom could become either a source of help or a source of danger. Written by
The failure of the original copyright holder to renew the film's copyright resulted in it falling into public domain, meaning that virtually anyone could duplicate and sell a VHS/DVD copy of the film. Therefore, many of the versions of this film available on the market are either severely (and usually badly) edited and/or of extremely poor quality, having been duped from second- or third-generation (or more) copies of the film. See more »
Pet shop owner:
[carrying a striped cat]
Perhaps you'd like this little lady. Miss Whitfield.
[holding a black cat]
No. thank you. This is the one. Does he have a name?
Pet shop owner:
Yes, it's Bennie - Benvenuto, really.
Hmmm. I used to have a cat they called Hadrian the Seventh. We ended up calling him Harry.
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***SPOILERS*** Way ahead of it's time movie that disclosed to the movie going public back in 1949 that there's a sub rosa government working independently from the laws that govern all of us. Which it's far more destructive then any outside enemy, like at that time the Soviet Union, ever was.
Hard to follow at first when we see a man Max Von Brog murdered at his printing shop on 506 East 31 st in Midtown Manhattan by a hood known as Knuckles, George Breen. Mr. Borgs wife, Hester Sondergaad, claims that her husband committed suicide. Later she's picked up at the airport trying to flee the country to Mexico City terrified of those who murdered her husband and feeling that she might well be next. Mrs. Von Borg is put into protective custody by Assistant D.A Malloy, Franchot Tone.
Local columnist Charles Riggs, Myron McCormick, feels that those who murdered Von Borg, whom he was printing leaflets and posters for, are highly connected in government and that the suspicion of them belonging to some hate group "The Crusaders". A subversive group that his friend and Assistant D.A Howard Malloy thinks are just a front for their real activities. Later when Riggs goes home to his apartment he's murdered by Knuckles and like Max Von Borg Knuckles makes it look like Riggs killed himself by throwing him out the window.
Malloy now with a personal reason to find the killer and those behind him starts making inroads into this group "The Crusaders". Malloy starts by tracking down the person who did the art work for their posters a Mrs. Sigmund Kosterich, Hedley Rainne. It's from Kosterich where he gets the name of a young woman Barbara Whitfield, Jean Wallace, who he's doing a painting of and also seems to be involved with this mysterious group.
Going home one evening Malloy is attacked by Knuckles who he knocks out and disarms. After checking his wallet Malloy finds a business card for a person call "The Angel" Angelo Agostini, Marc Lawrence. It turns out that "The Angel" runs some charity outfit in the city. After Malloy has a talk with "The Angel" everything seems to open up for him where he's appointed Special Prosecutor by the Governor. This after he met with Mrs. Hartley a major NYC political king-makers at a big social party who's also a close associate of "The Angle".
It seems that those in power, Agostini Mrs. Hartley etc. etc., are trying to buy off Malloy to keep him from finding who and whom their working for. But it doesn't work with the brave and honest Malloy and leads to a shocking and bloody final in the movie. It turned out that the group "The Crusaders" were just a cover and a microscopic part of the real power clique that controls the city of New York if not the entire country.
Ground-breaking film who's story has been copied hundreds of times since it's release back in 1949 about those in power who answer to no one but themselves. With both Franchot Tone & Jean Wallace very effective in their parts as the somewhat naive D.A. Who finds out the truth the hard and deadly way. With Jean Wallace as the young singer who also finds out, too late, that she's into something that she had no idea of how dangerous it was.
The movie "Jigsaw" has a number of top Hollywood stars in cameo roles and top NYC news & gossip columnist Leonard Lyon who wrote the popular "The Lyons Den" newspaper column. That showed just how important the movie was to them for them to want to be in it. Only the ending was a bit too contrived and phony but with the Hayes Commission back then controlling the US film industry a happy ending was a must in a disturbing as well as dark Film-Noir movie like "Jigsaw".
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