Jerry McKibbon is a tough, no nonsense reporter, mentoring special prosecutor John Conroy in routing out corrupt officials in the city, which may even include Conroy's own police detective father as a suspect.
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Special prosecutor John Conroy hopes to combat organized crime in his city, and appoints his cop father Matt as chief investigator. John doesn't understand why Matt is reluctant, but cynical reporter Jerry McKibbon thinks he knows: he's seen Matt with mob lieutenant Harrigan. Jerry's friendship for John is tested by the question of what to do about Matt, and by his attraction to John's girl Amanda. Meanwhile, the threatened racketeers adopt increasingly violent means of defense. Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The Kefauver crime hearings in the US Senate were the inspiration for several films of which The Turning Point is one. It's neither the best or the worst of that group.
Idealistic young attorney Edmond O'Brien is put in charge of a local Kefauver like group with prosecutorial powers to go after the syndicate that operates in this unnamed midwest American city. He's the son of veteran police detective Tom Tully and he asks his father to help him in his investigation. Also helping out are Alexis Smith functioning as the commission secretary and a cynical William Holden who is a long time friend of O'Brien's and newspaper reporter.
The syndicate is headed by Ed Begley, his number two is his enforcer Ted DeCorsia and he's got a hotheaded torpedo on the payroll in Danny Dayton. This crime syndicate has its hooks in pretty deep and watching the film you see why they are always one step ahead of the investigating commission.
The Turning Point fits right in with Bill Holden's post Sunset Boulevard tough and cynical image. That would reach its apogee when next year Holden would win an Oscar for the ultimate cynic in Stalag 17.
The rest of the cast performs well in roles that fit them admirably. Some you will remember are Neville Brand as an out of town torpedo who has few words, but an aura of menace, Carolyn Jones in her film debut as a Virginia Hill type witness who performs on stand the way Judy Holliday did in the House Un-American Activities Committee as the dumb moll. But the performance that really stands out is that of Adele Longmire who is the wife of another torpedo who was doublecrossed and killed after a hit he performed. She is really a standout in her scenes as a frightened witness trying to flee the mob.
The Turning Point is a good noir drama that holds up very well today and is even relevant with some of the big name prosecutions of more recent vintage.
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