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When a police officer is shot arresting a car thief, Captain Barnaby uses his skills and contacts to track down the culprits and uncovers a bank heist plan in the process. Barnaby has no qualms about bending the law to achieve his ends, including trumped up charges to persuade his only witness to cooperate or detaining some call girls to coerce their madam to help him. In the meantime he deals with everyday police business, juggling seemingly trivial matters with more serious ones. Written by
Ron Kerrigan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I heard that Edward G Robinson referred to this as his "B" period. After seeing this movie, I'm really sorry he felt that way. Vice Squad is the story of a Chief of Detectives in LA dealing with a half dozen related problems, but primarily with a cop killing that is tied in with a bank robbery. There will be comparisons to Detective Story - and there are similarities - but despite it's puny budget, over the hill or unknown stars, and poor production values I think this is a better movie. In fact for the reasons above, it seems to have a more realistic feel. The action sequences and dialogue are, for the most part, really believable.
EGR was under suspicion by HUAC when this was made and I think it was reflected in his underplayed performance, which I think was an improvement. Paulette Goddard was totally irrelevant. Her part could have been played better by somebody like Isabel Jewell. Porter Hall and Jay Adler were never better.
I am sorry this film never got the attention it deserved. I'm sorry that Eddie G thought so little of it. But most of all, I am sorry that most people will never get to see it. I am an avid movie buff and it took me almost 50 years before I ever knew it existed. Please, see it if you can.
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