Jack Early is a go getting photographer who is determined to make a name for himself. He manages to be hired by a major San Francisco newspaper and from then on he is prepared to do ... See full summary »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Nick Palmer
Peggy Dow ...
Ellen Bennett
...
Harry Colton
...
David Glover
Anne Vernon ...
Nita Palmer (as Ann Vernon)
Charles Sherlock ...
Sam, Colton's Henchman
...
Ted, the Night Club Doorman
...
Hat Check Girl
Joseph Pevney ...
Keller the Reporter
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Storyline

Jack Early is a go getting photographer who is determined to make a name for himself. He manages to be hired by a major San Francisco newspaper and from then on he is prepared to do anything to achieve his aim. Undaunted by anything, Early sinks into the underworld where gang boss Nick Palmer takes him under his wing. Thanks to him, Jack can take sensational snapshots of heisters at work. Which is not enough for him. Soon, thinking he is protected by the compromising photos he keeps taking, he starts manipulating and double crossing hoodlums, including his mentor Nick Palmer... Written by Guy Bellinger

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Turn Your Back on Blackmail...And You'll Get a BULLET In It! See more »


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Release Date:

1 September 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Magnificent Heel  »

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Unreleased in Paris. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Howard Duff as rotten-to-core tabloid photographer
4 September 2001 | by (Western New York) – See all my reviews

In Shakedown, Howard Duff plays his specialty, a winsome crumb. As a down-at-the-heels shutterbug desperate for a job, he sells lurid pictures -- drownings, defenestrations -- without any thought to the peril his subjects face. Once he lands the job by buttering up his editor's assistant (Peggy Dow), he realizes that compromising photos of crime figures pay better as blackmail than as journalism. He doesn't scruple to double-cross his prey if the profits can underwrite his taste for the high life, including the widow of a mobster he set up for a hit. When he just happens to be on hand to snap that murder, he causes a sensation but raises suspicions. Of course, his duplicity and greed prove his undoing.... With such familiar tough guys as Brian Donleavy and Lawrence Tierney, the movie clicks right along apace with Duff's camera. A nice irony shades the ending, not unlike the denouement of Taxi Driver: the heel gets turned into something like a hero.


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