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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.



(story and screenplay), (story and screenplay)


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


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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IT COULD HAPPEN IN ANY TOWN!...Anyone can be the innocent victim...(original print ad) See more »


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Release Date:

15 March 1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Shot in the Dark  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Remake of Main Street Lawyer (1939) See more »

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User Reviews

Sort of like Judge Hardy combined with film noir....
13 February 2018 | by See all my reviews

Bmavc reviewed this film some time ago and compared it to an Andy Hardy movie. Well, I think their analysis is brilliant and I wish I'd said that first! But they're right...this crime film does seem to harken to Judge Hardy and his wise, old fashioned views of law and order.

The film begins with Duke (Anthony Caruso) shooting a man dead in a bowling alley. The scene then switches to a small town and follows the exploits of a folksy county prosecutor--a nice man who is more concerned with justice and right versus the letter of the law. How does this relate to Duke's murder? Well, his lawyer manages to get his case sent to a different venue...this nice man's town. Why would they want him to be trying the case? Well, it seems Duke has something on the old man...some bit of blackmail. But this isn't the end of the story...no...there's far, far more to it.

As I mentioned above, it sure reminded me of a Judge Hardy film...minus Andy and with the addition of some film noir elements. Anthony Caruso was an amazing character actor and played gangsters as well as anyone...and he is in top form here. Overall, very enjoyable and worth your time.

By the way, this is one of Republic Studio's last films before they folded in the late 1950s. Also, I thought it very unusual that the murder in the opening scene featured a lot of blood...something very rare for movies back then.

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