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The Boss (1956)

 -  Drama  -  October 1956 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 165 users  
Reviews: 15 user | 7 critic

Political corruption is vividly depicted as a ruthless WWI veteran takes almost complete control of a state with the help of a crooked lawyer. The film is enhanced by John Payne's persuasive performance as "The Boss."



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Title: The Boss (1956)

The Boss (1956) on IMDb 6.6/10

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Cast overview:
Matt Brady
William Bishop ...
Bob Herrick
Gloria McGehee ...
Lorry Reed (as Gloria McGhee)
Doe Avedon ...
Elsie Reynolds
Tim Brady
Stanley Millard
Ernie Jackson
Robin Morse ...
Johnny Mazia
William Phipps ...
Stitch (as Bill Phipps)
Gil Lamb ...
George Lynn ...
Tom Masterson
Bob Morgan ...


Political corruption is vividly depicted as a ruthless WWI veteran takes almost complete control of a state with the help of a crooked lawyer. The film is enhanced by John Payne's persuasive performance as "The Boss."

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Uncensored and uncut version of a scandalous true story! See more »







Release Date:

October 1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Boss  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Approximately two minutes after the start of the film, the scene showing the parade of the returning soldiers has several anachronisms: standing with their backs to the camera, there is a line of about a dozen middle-aged or older women, whose knee-length hemlines and style of high heeled shoes wouldn't exist until the 1920s; to the left of the scene, hugging the shaft of a lamp-post, is a young boy wearing a short-sleeved shirt with a tropical-flower pattern, which boys of the First World War period would never have worn; in the center of the background behind the parading soldiers is a car whose windshield and roof style are typical of cars from the 1930s, but which would never have been seen on a pre-1920 automobile. See more »


Referenced in Trumbo (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

unpleasant story
26 April 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

John Payne worked hard to overcome his image as a handsome leading man by turning to more character-like roles in the 1950s, and actually producing a few films. He was effective, but like anyone else, he needed a good direction.

"The Boss" from 1956, written by the blacklisted Dalton Trumbo under the name of Ben Perry, could have used such a director. Based on the story of Kansas City political boss Tom Pendergast, it tells the story of this powerful man whose reign lasted from the end of World War I to the beginning of World War II.

Some of this is fiction, and some is fact. The personal life situation is fictional. In this film, the main character, Matt Brady (Payne) marries a woman, Lorry (Gloria McGehee) described by him as a "beat up alley cat" one night while drunk and after being rejected by his true love Elsie (Doe Avedon). All we hear about in this movie is how homely Lorry is, when in fact, at 35, she's a few years older than Doe Avedon and good-looking. To me it was bad casting. Maybe I missed a second head or something.

Brady is a crooked politician who steps on his enemies (including a country club where he was blackballed) and, as he rises in power, uses anything and everything to get his way and wangle big profits for himself. It's a well-oiled machine and includes his best friend, Bob Herrick (William Bishop) and others he can control. Eventually, though, things catch up with him.

"The Boss" is somewhat overblown, with Payne yelling through most of it, when he isn't drunkenly punching somebody out. It's way over the top, and I for one lost interest in the story quickly.

Not really much to recommend this. Doe Avedon, who plays Elsie, was the inspiration for the Audrey Hepburn character in "Funny Face."

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John Payne's character Matt Brad, was mean + bitter from very beginning. dlevy1201
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