Fed up with the inhumane prison living conditions, a general prison riot breaks out, leading to hostage-taking, a stand-off with the guards and eventual negotiations with the prison administration officials.
On a city's mean streets, the boys join gangs at 15. Frankie leads the Hornets: he's 18, seething, coiled. When a neighbor goes to the cops after seeing one of the Hornets with a zip gun, Frankie vows to kill the old guy, hatching a plan using Lou, who smiles and smokes, and "Baby," the 15-year-old son of an immigrant shopkeeper. Ben Wagner, the social worker at a neighborhood settlement house, gets wind of the plan and tries to break through to Frankie. Frankie's brother Richie, who's about 12, worships and fears Frankie; he also figures out what his brother is up to. Is Frankie doomed to crash and burn at 18? Written by
Don Siegel says in his biography that he argued much on the set with actor Mark Rydell because he did not shoot Rydell's face enough. See more »
[seeing Ben in his room]
Whatta yuh want up here? Nobody asked you.
I don't want anything. I... was just downstairs and realized I never seen your place before.
Well, feast your eyes tonight. It's staight out of Hollywood.
That's a pretty lousy place.
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Overall quite solid , no one could have done better than Siegel with such an standard script
Not among Siegel's finest , but in any case not a bad attempt at all. In this first stage of his career Siegel worked as a kind of hired hand on numerous low budget films .In some cases he was forced to work with very standard material, nonetheless in some others Siegel worked with some of the finest scripts ever created such as the Invasion of the Body Snatchers or The Killers. No worries whatsoever, if the basis are not that solid here ,Siegel had what it takes to left his mark and didn't need a super script to come out with an amazing films ,as he proved with the Line up or Private Hell 36.
Sadly foundations here are not that solid , indeed these are much much weaker . He was probably charged with the task of making a teenage movie in the vein of the Blackboard Jungle ,same as he was probably assigned to do in Riot in Block cell 11 .
In both cases he managed to succeed though working under disadvantageous circumstances: low budget , unoriginal plots with a moralistic tone which allows to see the what would be the end from minute one . Crime in the streets also had some clichés about juvenile delinquency.
But Siegel overcame aany inconveniences to provide a more than decent outcome . Characters are solid and well constructed, Cassavettes is very convincing as the leader of the gang and action flows smoothly , helped by the sense of realism that the director gives to the film, so overall not bad at all
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