6.8/10
21
4 user 1 critic

When Gangland Strikes (1956)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 15 March 1956 (USA)
Faced with blackmail, a town's prosecutor intentionally throws the case of a big-time mobster.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Luke Ellis
Marjie Millar ...
June Ellis
...
Bob Keeler
...
Duke Martella
Marian Carr ...
Hazel
...
Slim Pickett
...
Emily Parsons
Ralph Dumke ...
Walter Pritchard
...
Leo Fantzler
...
Judge George Walters
...
Mark Spurlock
...
Chip Martin
...
Sheriff Mack McBride
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Storyline

A big-time gang leader's trial is moved to a small town. The town's prosecutor discovers that the gangster knows about a secret the prosecutor has been trying to keep hidden, and threatens to expose it unless the prosecutor deliberately throws the trial. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

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ANYONE CAN BE THE INNOCENT VICTIM! (original print ad-all caps) See more »


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Approved | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

15 March 1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Shot in the Dark  »

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(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Connections

Remake of Main Street Lawyer (1939) See more »

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User Reviews

poorly-written, unsatisfying late-Republic programmer
1 February 2004 | by See all my reviews

Republic Pictures was in its waning days in 1956 when this strange, unsatisfying crime drama was made by a crew who had made many excellent later serials for Republic. A poor script with clashing moods, unrealistic dialogue, lines written solely to match later plot points that sound odd when spoken in dramatic situations, a "hero" who is not very sympathetic for most of the movie, continuity errors that are surprising for the slick professionals at Republic pictures (characters called by different names, rough edits that don't match what just happened and look like a Tarantino film, etc.), characters whose reactions to important events are not like anything you've ever seen in real life--there are many, many flaws in this film. It could almost be used in a screenwriting class for a "how NOT to write a screenplay" unit. The class could stop the tape every minute or two and point out the flaws. The film LOOKS good as Republic product usually does. The acting is convincing, although even the best actors can't do much with a poor script. On a positive note,the first five and last five minutes of the film are genuinely exciting. The film starts off like a hard-boiled crime film and ends like an over-the-top courtroom drama, but the middle 75% is a slow-moving, "Andy Hardy"-style smalltown drama. Except for Slim Pickens' comic relief and Anthony Caruso as the gangster referred to in the title, the pace is slow.Raymond Greenleaf as a smalltown prosecutor begins as an affable, gentle character out of a Capra film, but his chronic inactivity will make him an unsympathetic character to most viewers. He throws an important case with seemingly no remorse, blackmailed about something that for many viewers would not be a major issue. I felt that the character was too lazy to do anything to resolve the situation about which he was blackmailed. I could go on and on about the flaws and inconsistencies in this film. My fiancee and I spent about an hour discussing a laundry list of problems after the film--more time than we spent discussing OLEANNA, which we saw last week. Finally, the copy on the back cover of this video is completely deceptive. I can't believe the person who wrote the notes even watched the enclosed film. It is NOT a noir film in any way. It is NOT an exciting film, except for brief scenes at the beginning and end. As a devoted fan of Republic Pictures product, I found the film an interesting failure, but I can't recommend it to anyone who is not a serious Republic Pictures collector. There are some fine products from the 1955 and 1956 years at Republic, but this is not one of them and I wonder why Republic chose to issue this on VHS when 9/10 of their crime dramas from the 50s would be far more worthy of release. Watch a favorite film a second time rather than spend any time watching WHEN GANGLAND STRIKES, a title more interesting than the film.


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