IMDb > Vice Squad (1953)

Vice Squad (1953) More at IMDbPro »


Overview

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Director:
Writers:
Lawrence Roman (screenplay)
Leslie T. White (novel)
Contact:
View company contact information for Vice Squad on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
31 July 1953 (USA) See more »
Tagline:
Bring in that Rat ... he's a cop killer !!! See more »
Plot:
Police procedural film following a few cases assigned to LAPD captain of detectives Barney Barnaby. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
NewsDesk:
(3 articles)
Paulette Goddard Movie Schedule: An Ideal Husband, The Women
 (From Alt Film Guide. 2 August 2011, 3:53 PM, PDT)

Arnold Laven obituary
 (From The Guardian - Film News. 25 November 2009, 10:42 AM, PST)

Arnold Laven obituary
 (From The Guardian - TV News. 25 November 2009, 10:42 AM, PST)

User Reviews:
Compare this one to John Ford's "Gideon's Day" See more (19 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Edward G. Robinson ... Capt. 'Barnie' Barnaby

Paulette Goddard ... Mona Ross
K.T. Stevens ... Ginny
Porter Hall ... Jack Hartrampf

Adam Williams ... Marty Kusalich

Edward Binns ... Al Barkis
Barry Kelley ... Dwight Foreman
Jay Adler ... Frankie Pierce
Harlan Warde ... Det. Lacey
Mary Ellen Kay ... Carol Lawson

Lee Van Cleef ... Pete Monte
Lewis Martin ... Police Lt. Ed Chisolm
Joan Vohs ... Vickie Webb
Dan Riss ... Lt. Bob Imlay
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Murray Alper ... Cop (uncredited)
William Boyett ... Officer Kellogg (uncredited)
Leonard Bremen ... Fred (uncredited)
Paul Bryar ... Lt. Cade (uncredited)
Jack Carr ... Fred (uncredited)
Russ Conway ... Reporter (uncredited)
Edgar Dearing ... Fitz (uncredited)
Edward Earle ... Vault Teller (uncredited)
George Eldredge ... Mr. Lawson (uncredited)
Gil Frye ... Cop (uncredited)
Percy Helton ... Mr. Jenner (uncredited)
Byron Kane ... Prof. Bruno Varney (uncredited)
Robert Karnes ... Lou (uncredited)
Mickey Knox ... Policeman (uncredited)
Mike Lally ... Detective in Lineup and Bank (uncredited)

Harry Lewis ... Arresting Detective (uncredited)
Lee Phelps ... Vickie's Apartment Manager (uncredited)
Lorin Raker ... Mr. Moore (uncredited)
Charles Sherlock ... Detective in Lineup Room (uncredited)
Charles Tannen ... Dutch (uncredited)
John Verros ... Count Alfredo Giovanni de Montova (uncredited)
Christine White ... Miss Easton (uncredited)
Mack Williams ... Mr. Schaefer (uncredited)
Harry Wilson ... Man in Lineup (uncredited)
William Woodson ... Dave (uncredited)

Directed by
Arnold Laven 
 
Writing credits
Lawrence Roman (screenplay)

Leslie T. White (novel "Harness Bull")

Produced by
Arthur Gardner .... producer
Jules V. Levy .... producer
Sol Lesser .... producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
Herschel Burke Gilbert 
 
Cinematography by
Joseph F. Biroc 
 
Film Editing by
Arthur H. Nadel 
 
Art Direction by
Carroll Clark 
 
Set Decoration by
Raymond Boltz Jr. 
 
Costume Design by
Norma Koch  (as Norma)
 
Makeup Department
Gustaf Norin .... makeup artist (as Gustaf M. Norin)
Lillian Shore .... hair stylist
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Nathan Barragar .... assistant director
 
Sound Department
Harry Lindgren .... sound recordist
 
Music Department
Herschel Burke Gilbert .... musical director
Joseph Mullendore .... orchestrator
 
Other crew
Pat Fielder .... production assistant
Leslie H. Martinson .... script supervisor (as Leslie Martinson)
Al Teitelbaum .... furrier
Harlan Warde .... dialogue director
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
87 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Recording)
Certification:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Lux Video Theatre broadcast a version of this story on January 24th, 1957, featuring Pat O'Brien and Gloria Jean.See more »

FAQ

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12 out of 13 people found the following review useful.
Compare this one to John Ford's "Gideon's Day", 26 February 2005
Author: theowinthrop from United States

This is one of those excellent programmers that studios used to churn out as fillers (second or third features) when a day at the movies was really a day at the movies. Not 90 minutes to two and a half hours, but five hours, followed by a late dinner with your girl friend, boy friend, spouse, or kids. Robinson knocked this film (and several other excellent ones) he did in the early 1950s because his days of movie stardom seemed over (due to blacklisting, as well as a messy divorce). It was a bitter time, and his memories were colored by that bitterness. Yet in this period he did films with Paulette Goddard, Ginger Rogers, Alan Ladd, John Forsythe, and Barbara Stanwyck (the last a western). He even did a second film with his old film co-star (and nemesis) George Raft. Not bad for a barren period. Considering the number of films he did appear in, and comparing his situation to that of ... John Garfield, Robinson did not do too badly.

This film was made shortly after "Detective Story" with Kirk Douglas, William Bendix, and George Macready. While that was a good film too, it was based on a successful stage play. This is based on a script from Hollywood originally. But it is one of those "day in the work life of a police officer". Robinson is shown trying to find the two goons (Edward Binns and Lee Van Cleef) who killed one of his men in a robbery. He is also handling problems with a fake-Italian fortune hunter, a scared little man (Percy Helton), and even a television news spot he has to give. He handles everything with considerable professionalism and aplomb.

"Detective Story" may have initiated this period of films like this, but in actuality "Detective Story" centered on the emotional problems of "good" cop Kirk Douglas, and how he resolves them by sacrificing himself to catch an armed criminal (Joseph Wiseman). A better film to compare it with is "Gideon's Day", an odd film made a few years later by John Ford. Unlike most of Ford's films it was shot in England, and starred Jack Hawkins. The "Gideon" novels were popular detective stories at the time, and "Gideon's Day" dealt with Chief Inspector Gideon tracking down the thieves who fatally injured a policeman who tried to stop them. Ford's film dealt with other incidents in the officer's day, including meeting a new constable who is something of a stumble-bum, who ends up being re-introduced to him as his daughter's new boy friend. Although minor John Ford, it has some good moments (such as Hawkins talking to the dying police officer in the hospital, which is shown from the point of view of the officer going in and out of consciousness). Except that it takes place in London, not L.A., it is a match for "Vice Squad".

But somehow "Vice Squad" works better. Except for the comedy about Gideon's daughter and her new boy-friend, most of "Gideon's Day" is definitely set in England, and yet Ford can't get his Irish-Americanism totally out of himself. At one point an angry Gideon has to restrain himself from taking a poke at an arrested perpetrator. That would not have been normal in England, where that type of reaction is usually not met with. It would have happened in the 1950s (or even the 2000s) in any American city, but that seems to be expected.

"Vice Squad" has some good performances holding it up. Binns and Van Cleef do their normally professional jobs as the killers. Percy Helton plays a timid rabbit of a man, who has seen Robinson before (the scene humanizes both men, for Robinson knows Helton's fears are based on psychological problems and has been trying to get him to see a doctor). Porter Hall plays possibly the funniest schlemiel type he ever had the luck to play, as a man who was out on a private toot but is paying for it again and again because he was at the scene of the crime, so he is possibly a witness. Ironically Hall never saw anything, but Robinson still manages to use him effectively against somebody who can unlock the mystery. Even Hall finally realizes that it's to his advantage not to deny anything, but to play along with Robinson's hunch. The two did well together in "Double Indemnity", and it pleasant to see they still well together here. Paulette Goddard's performance is smaller than one would have wanted, but she makes the most of the role of the head of the "escort" services. If the rule twisting here seems out of date, please remember this is from 1953. The Warren Court had not started changing the open door policy for police investigations yet.

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