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Harold J. Stone,
Danforth is assigned to take over the police department in a section of a large city saddled with juvenile delinquency, petty crimes, graft and also a recent unsolved murder of a strip-tease dancer. Recognizing the laxity of the department he implements many changes and soon finds himself under fire by the newspapers, the attorney of a racket leader and the denizens of this human jungle. He calls this a cop's war that is the same as a soldier's war with the difference being that people hate cops. His cause isn't helped when a rookie policeman accidentally kills an innocent bystander. And he has to protect police informer Mary Abbott from Swados, a killer in the hire of the man behind the petty mobsters. Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
"The Human Jungle" (1954), directed by Joseph M. Newman, who would go on to make the classic science fiction film "This Island Earth" (1955) is film noir starring Gary Merrill, Jan Sterling and Regis Toomey.
The screenplay is nothing out of the ordinary: a cop turned lawyer (Gary Merrill) is offered to become chief of police in a hard inner city neighbourhood and he attempts to crack down on a large mobster (Florenz Ames).
After achieving stardom in films like "All About Eve" (1950), Gary Merrill's film career seemed to slowly die during the middle of the fifties in movies like this. Having seen him quality productions, one blames the script rather than he for the arrogant, bull-headed and plain unlikable persona he has here. In fact, by the end of it, you want him to die. The limp direction does the motion picture no favours and only Jan Sterling, Florenz Ames and Paula Raymond come out of the acting department with much dignity. It's a shame really that Ellis W. Carter, the cinematographer, and Hans J. Salter's music are found too far below what their talents deserve and manage to make this banal and film noir just about watchable.
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