MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 88,348 this week

The System (1953)

Approved  |   |  Crime, Drama, Film-Noir  |  18 April 1953 (USA)
6.2
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.2/10 from 62 users  
Reviews: 1 user | 2 critic

Gambler John Merrick (Frank Lovejoy) is the head of a bookie syndicate and the newspaper is crusading against him and the rackets, primarily because Merrick is in love with Felice Stuart (... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

, (story), 1 more credit »
0Check in
0Share...

IMDb Picks: April

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in April.

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 126 titles
created 13 Feb 2011
 
a list of 484 titles
created 01 Sep 2011
 
list image
a list of 731 titles
created 22 May 2013
 
a list of 10 titles
created 08 Jul 2013
 
a list of 38 titles
created 25 Oct 2013
 

Related Items

Search for "The System" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The System (1953)

The System (1953) on IMDb 6.2/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The System.

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Hard to Get (1938)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

When spoiled young heiress Maggie Richards tries to charge some gasoline at an auto camp run by Bill Davis, he makes her work out her bill by making beds. Resolving to get even, she ... See full summary »

Director: Ray Enright
Stars: Dick Powell, Olivia de Havilland, Charles Winninger
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Texan debutante Valentine Ransome tries to reform a bankrupt playboy.

Director: Alfred Santell
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Herbert Marshall, Glenda Farrell
Comedy | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

In Peru in the eighteenth century. Camilla, the star of a theater company, hesitates between three men. The Viceroy gives her his magnificent golden coach. A young Spanish officer suggests ... See full summary »

Director: Jean Renoir
Stars: Anna Magnani, Odoardo Spadaro, Nada Fiorelli
Musical | Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Society heiress Joan Bradford rebels against her mother's choice of a future husband by masquerading as a working class girl and dating a window washer.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy
Stars: Dick Powell, Josephine Hutchinson, John Halliday
Certificate: Passed Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A prince plots to kill the mad monk Rasputin for the good of the czar, the czarina and Russia.

Directors: Richard Boleslawski, Charles Brabin
Stars: John Barrymore, Ethel Barrymore, Lionel Barrymore
Night Tide (1961)
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

On leave in a shore side town, Johnny becomes interested in a young dark haired woman. They meet and he learns that she plays a mermaid in the local carnival. After strange occurrences, ... See full summary »

Director: Curtis Harrington
Stars: Dennis Hopper, Linda Lawson, Gavin Muir
The Strangler (1964)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

An overweight lab technician with low self esteem, brought on by his dominant mother, becomes a serial killer of female nurses.

Director: Burt Topper
Stars: Victor Buono, David McLean, Diane Sayer
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Another of the "Fate and Irony" films from director-writer-producer-actor Hugo Haas but this one has less hair-shirt torment than most of his offerings, although his camera, as usual, ... See full summary »

Director: Hugo Haas
Stars: Cleo Moore, Hugo Haas, Glenn Langan
Jeopardy (1953)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A man vacationing with his wife and son near a desolate jetty in Baja becomes trapped under a rotten timber as the inevitable tide threatens to drown him.

Director: John Sturges
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Barry Sullivan, Ralph Meeker
Romance | War | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

In Post-Bellum Texas, an army captain tries to keep the peace between overtaxed, impoverished farmers and greedy carpetbaggers.

Director: André De Toth
Stars: Randolph Scott, Lex Barker, Phyllis Kirk
Wicked Woman (1953)
Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A blonde floozy drifts into town and gets a job as a waitress at a local bar. She sets her sights on the bar's handsome owner, who is married to an alcoholic. Her plans are for the two of ... See full summary »

Director: Russell Rouse
Stars: Beverly Michaels, Richard Egan, Percy Helton
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Wealthy Polly Fulton marries a progressive scholar whose attitudes toward capitalism and acquired wealth puts their marriage in jeopardy.

Director: Robert Z. Leonard
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Van Heflin, Charles Coburn
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Frank Lovejoy ...
John E. 'Johnny' Merrick
...
Felice Stuart
Robert Arthur ...
Rex Merrick
...
David Wiley
...
Jerry Allen (as Donald Beddoe)
Jerome Cowan ...
Barry X. Brady
Dan Seymour ...
Mr. Marty
Sarah Selby ...
Mrs. Elizabeth Allen
Fay Roope ...
Roger Stuart
Frank Richards ...
Charley, Merrick's Butler
Vic Perrin ...
Little Harry Goubenek (as Victor Perrin)
...
Specs alias Morton Kovick
Howard Negley ...
Senator Richard Ketteridge
Alan Gordon ...
Big Reuben (as Al Gordon)
Bruno VeSota ...
Angelo Bruno (as Bruno Ve Sota)
Edit

Storyline

Gambler John Merrick (Frank Lovejoy) is the head of a bookie syndicate and the newspaper is crusading against him and the rackets, primarily because Merrick is in love with Felice Stuart (Joan Weldon), daughter of the newspaper publisher who can not break up the romance through persuasion. A senate committee investigating crime gets involved, the racketeers, other than Merrick who is a "nice guy", strike back and kill a reporter, and Merrick's own son, Jerry Merrick (Robert Arthur), commits suicide. Merrick, to his own disadvantage, helps bring down the syndicate. Since it is in black-and-white-, deals with crime and was an American-made film, some will call it "film noir" since that seems to be the current guidelines for putting a film in that, at one time limited-and-defined genre. It ain't, and neither are most of the others currently so classified. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

gambling | See All (1) »

Taglines:

UNDERWORLD OPERATION! (original print ad - all caps)

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

18 April 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Máquina do Crime  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Likeable Frank Lovejoy can't quite convince in '50s topical crime melodrama
8 March 2003 | by (Western New York) – See all my reviews

Lewis Seiler's The System tries to have it both ways. It wants to show us that betting a couple of bucks on a horse with your neighborhood bookie feeds a mammoth and murderous syndicate. But then, too, it wants us to believe that its central character (Frank Lovejoy), who controls the syndicate's operations in a midwestern city hovering somewhere between the gravitational fields of Chicago and St. Louis, is at heart a pretty decent guy who'll do the right thing once destiny points out the error of his ways.

That's a pretty big chunk to swallow, but, once it's down, The System turns out to be fairly digestible, if on the bland side. It opens when a 19-year-old kid, armed with a water pistol, gets shot and killed by the police for burglary; he needed money to pay off his local book. An old newspaper man who knew the kid wants to run an exposé on the whole operation and nail Lovejoy; his publisher gives a cautious go-ahead, as Lovejoy is dating his daughter (Joan Weldon, a detachable accessory to the plot). Lovejoy pays a courteous visit to the reporter, whom he knows; both their sons are in college together. But the reporter sticks to his guns, and Lovejoy leaves him alone.

The storm of publicity, however, brings a Congressional investigation to town (making The System yet another '50s movie riding the coattails of the Kefauver Committee on Organized Crime). This so scares the big shots in Chicago that they send down some heavy artillery to protect their interests....

The movie's at its best in its many small roles for quirky players and in Lovejoy, a solid, likeable actor who gets a part that's hard to sell with any conviction. The System ends up being less film noir than topical crime drama, at once both somber and melodramatic (the interconnections among the characters, and some of the turns they take, are soap-opera baroque). But don't put any money on Lovejoy's living in a posh penthouse and buying a flashy roadster for his kid without getting his soul as well as his hands dirty; that's a sucker's bet.


10 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss The System (1953) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?