After years of pursuit, Assistant D.A. Martin Ferguson has a good case against Murder, Inc. boss Albert Mendoza. Mendoza is in jail and his lieutenant Joseph Rico is going to testify. But Rico falls to his death and Ferguson must work through the night going over everything to build the case anew. Written by
Ed Stephan <email@example.com>
After several days of filming, director Bretaigne Windust fell seriously ill and was rushed to the hospital in critical condition. Humphrey Bogart asked his old friend, director Raoul Walsh, to come in and shoot the picture until Windust recovered. Unfortunately, Windust was more seriously ill than most realized, and his recovery took several months, during which Walsh finished the film. However, Walsh refused to take screen credit for it, saying that the picture was Windust's big break and he wasn't going to take it away from him. See more »
When Rico gets in his car at the hideout on his way to fulfill a "contract" in the city, a crew member is visible in the reflection of the window of the car door as it is closed. See more »
The Enforcer, whose French title is La femme à abattre, plays often to packed houses in Paris. More than one French critic has called the film a gem (un joyau) among film noir classics. Indeed, its popularity in France says lots about pure plot lines and straightforward characterizations which make the film accessible to non-English-speaking audiences. As many readers know, the French are crazy about American film noir, and it's common to see parents bring their children to see movies like The Enforcer. I recently sat next to such a family when the film played in March 2003 at the Grand Action cinéma in Paris. It was almost moving to hear the father explain to his son that they would be seeing a film which, in his words, is a classic with great insights in the American psyche. Hearing them speak made me wonder how many American families use films of decades past to teach their children about the world in which we live.
By the way, the three cinémas in the Action chain in Paris regularly play American films noirs and other classic American movies, many of them in newly restored versions.
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