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The Garment Jungle (1957)

The struggle of a lady's garment workers' organization to unionize a New York clothing sweat shop; the owner of which is determined to keep the union out of his business at any cost.

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(articles), (story and screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview:
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Theresa Renata
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Lee Hackett
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Tulio Renata
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George Kovan
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Tony
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Ox
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Mr. Paul
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Dave Bronson
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Fred Kenner
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Tulio's Mother
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Storyline

During the 1950s, the New York garment industry is going through a turmoil. On one side, the industry workers want to organize themselves into labor unions that will fight for them in obtaining better wages, better working conditions and other benefits. On the other side, the factory owners and their managers staunchly oppose unionization. At one of the largest garment companies, Roxton Fashions, the owner, Walter Mitchell, is fighting against his workers' wishes to unionize. For the past 15 years, Walter Mitchell has been using the mob muscle in order to protect his company against unions. His gangster friend Artie Ravidge, and his henchmen, provide Walter Mitchell and Roxton Fashions with such protection against union men who agitate the workers into forming their own union locals. This protection includes murder, whenever necessary, to eliminate stubborn union men. Unfortunately, when Walter Mitchell's business partner, Fred Kenner, argues in favor of allowing a union into their ... Written by nufs68

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

union | worker | mob | new york | gangster | See All (34) »

Taglines:

The whole naked truth about the rackets in New York's garment center!


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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

25 April 1957 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Garment Center  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,050,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ít has been alleged that Robert Aldrich was removed from " The Garment Jungle " by Columbia head honcho Harry Cohn, when he realised that the megalomaniac Studio head, played by Rod Steiger, in " The Big Knife ' was based on himself. See more »

Goofs

About half way through, when the truck drives forward into the ally past the union 'picketers' towards the elevator. After they kill Tulio the truck is inexplicably turned-around (without room in the ally to turn around) and drives forward out of the ally the same way it came in. See more »

Quotes

Artie Ravidge: A real troublemaker, that one. But don't you worry; this stuff'll move, it'll move. When I get done with him, he won't bother us no more.
Alan Mitchell: What are you going to do?
Artie Ravidge: Never mind. I'm going to educate that Union real good to lay off us.
Alan Mitchell: Dad, are you going to let him...?
Walter Mitchell: What do you want me to do? Give in to them? Let the Union take over? That's what'll happen once they grab hold. With their hours, and benefits, and guarantees... three percent of the payroll for retirement, two percent for health, ...
[...]
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User Reviews

 
Under ILGWU strict auspices
14 October 2015 | by See all my reviews

Lee J. Cobb in a further attempt to buttress his reputation after being a friendly witness at the House Un-American Activities Committee chose yet another labor story in The Garment Jungle. Cobb plays a factory owner of an unorganized shop in the garment center who has uneasy and unofficial partnership with racketeer Richard Boone. Boone provides the muscle to keep out organizers from the International Ladies Garment Workers Union from Cobb's place of business.

After the death of Robert Ellenstein who was Cobb's partner, Cobb's son Kerwin Matthews who had not taken an interest in the business up till now is shocked that Cobb is in deep with someone like Boone. Matthews then takes up the mantle of crusader.

Which really doesn't fit him well. I found it hard to believe that Matthews suspected nothing up to that time. Probably in real life he would just make sure he didn't know.

Boone is his usual good self, but the outstanding performance in the film is a young Robert Loggia who is passionate and dynamic in his role as an ILGWU organizer. God bless man who some 60 years later is still going strong and who is never bad in anything he does. Also standing out are the two females in substantial roles, Gia Scala as Loggia's wife and Valerie French as a buyer who has a thing going with Cobb.

I don't think it was an accident that Lee J. Cobb appeared in this role. The ILGWU as a union fought both Communists and racketeers both from taking over the union. The ILGWU president David Dubinsky was a veteran of those wars. He probably understood what Cobb went through in making that decision to be a friendly witness and this film I have no doubt was under ILGWU strict auspices.

One thing that was very much in keeping with the times was Loggia's role as an organizer. The rank and file of the ILGWU was passing from a Jewish base to more Latinos, both men and women. Loggia's role as an organizer of Latino background was spot on.

Despite some flaws and it's not in the same class as On The Waterfront, The Garment Jungle is a good film with some strong performances by a few players.


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