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Pier 23 (1951)

Approved | | Comedy, Crime, Drama | 11 May 1951 (USA)
Private detective finds himself framed for the murders of a wrestler and a crooked referee, then for the murder of a mystery man posing as a new parolee from Alcatraz.



(story) (as Herbert Margolis), (story) (as Louis Morheim) | 2 more credits »

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ann Harmon
Prof. Shicker
Police Inspector Lt. Bruger
Flo Klingle
Ape Danowski
Charles Giffen
Raymond Greenleaf ...
Father Donovan
Norma Harmon
Harry Hayden ...
Dr. Earl J. Tomkins
The Cocktail Waitress (as Joy Lansing)
Nick Garrison
Chris Drake ...
Mike Greeley
John Indrisano ...
Mushy Cavelli (as Johnny Indrasano)
Bill Varga ...
Willie Klingle


In the first of two separate stories, Private-Detective Dennis O'Brien becomes involved with a gang that uses a rigged wrestling match as a means for murder. In the second story O'Brien tries to discourage a convict from making an escape-attempt from Alcatraz. Later O'Brien mistakes another man for the convict, and winds up charged with a murder. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


GANGLAND GALAHAD! He's a cop's pet peeve... and a gal's pet passion!






Release Date:

11 May 1951 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Flesh and Leather  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Edited down to each of its two segments, each of them re-titled, this was sold to television in the early 1950's as two parts of a syndicated half hour mystery show. See more »

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User Reviews

A Lippert Pictures throwaway...dull, stiff, stiff, and dull...
2 April 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Pier 23 (1951)

There are so many holes in this film, the best thing about it is it's less than an hour long.

It is set in a unique place, on the docks of San Francisco across from Alcatraz. And the entertainment wrestling is a fun addition, though it comes just a year after Dassin's "Night and the City" which does everything, including the wrestling, that this movie wishes it did. (I saw "Night and the City" last night, purely by coincidence. There is even one actor carryover, the wrestler/thug in both movies played by Mike Mazurki.)

But the man who wishes he was Robert Mitchum (or Bogart, or Widmark) is a clumsy, clunky Hugh Beaumont. Even his role in the movie is nebulous. He seems to just work in a boat shop, and yet shady characters keep coming to him and getting him involved in shady things. He resists, and then agrees, again and again. And he's given a continuous stream of film noir phrases, those clipped comebacks that are great when they're original, and terrible when they are imitative. There are night scenes, guns, and several femme fatales.

But I'm not sure there's a plot to speak of. Rather, there is a series of little incidents that get explained from one to the next, with an occasional smack on the head between. It's patched together and weirdly dull, partly because it was intended to be second string fare right from the start, and constructed so that it could be broken up for shorter television episode broadcast, too. One script fits all? This was a Lippert Pictures strategy, and Robert L. Lippert managed to have a full fledged career doing bottom level movies like this (eat your heart out Ed Wood) and is maybe most famous for helping get Sam Fuller's career going. Fuller directed three films for Lippert for free

But that's "history," and this is a movie, flesh and blood. And you know, writing, camera-work, acting, directing, a lot of things are required to make either a good movie or a good television show, and when you don't have any of them quite right, or to put it another way, when you have all of them only half right, it's rough going. I'd skip it.

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