When a reporter claims that New York police are on the take letting the mob run its horse parlors at will, a shocked District Attorney Michael Norris decide to do something about it. Not ... See full summary »
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Joseph H. Lewis
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Charles De la Tour,
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When a reporter claims that New York police are on the take letting the mob run its horse parlors at will, a shocked District Attorney Michael Norris decide to do something about it. Not knowing who can be trusted on the force, he turns to recent police academy graduates to go undercover and find the corrupt cops. Among them is Pete Harris, a 10 year Marine Corps veteran. His focus is on Lil Polumbo, recently widowed after her husband Gus' truck ran off the road. Rumor has it that Gus was heavily in debt to the mob and killed himself so his wife could collect on his insurance. When the mob learns that Harris is a cop, they try to kill him but it doesn't go as planned and kills someone close to him instead. Pete decides to get the killers at any cost. Written by
"Raymond T. Marcus" is listed as the writer for this film, but that was an alias used by Bernard Gordon. Gordon co-wrote this movie with Julian Zimet. Since the two blacklisted during the McCarthy-era "Red Scare", their real names could not be used. See more »
from "Die Meistersinger"
Music by Richard Wagner
Played while the villains are bugging Darren McGavin's apartment See more »
***SPOILERS*** With the shocking news, due to investigative reporter Reid, flooding every newspaper radio and TV station in the city about police corruption the D.A's office headed by Brooklyn D.A Michael W. Norris has commandeered the just graduating class of the Police Academy and put it, and its 40 rookie cops, under his personal control.
With the mob controlled bookies having almost total immunity from the law it's obvious that the cops are being paid off to look the other way by what's known as the "Syndicate". But what isn't known is just how far and high the corruption leads to! It may well lead straight into the Police Commissioner's or even Mayor's office!
With both rookie cops Pete Harris and is partner Jess Johnson put undercover to crack the bookie ring and the cops controlled by it Pete get's in touch with a local Brooklyn woman who's husband was driven to suicide by the "Syndicate". Acting as if he's an old high school acquainting of her Harris get's Lil Polombo to open up about her husbands, Gus, strange death. Gus was in hock to the syndicate for $800.00, in losing bets on the horses, and got worked over by Finelli's, who runs the local bookie operations, boys and told to come up with the cash or else!
Not having the money and not wanting to leave his old lady Lil out in the cold Gus got himself a double indemnity life insurance policy and immediately dove his truck off the road killing himself! As Lil was going through a deep depression, almost drinking herself blind, both Pete and local laundry delivery man and family friend Rudi Franklin came to comfort her. Pete was serious about Lili's loss but Rudi wasn't. Rudi in fact was one of the goon's who worked, laundering the weekly illegal gambling take, for Filenni. Rudi was also one of Filenni's goons who worked Gus over which lead to him, in not wanting to end up at the bottom of the East River, to kill himself.
The movie "The Case Against Brooklyn" has both Pete and Russ get stymied in trying to uncover who's the big cheese, or kingpin, behind the police corruption & bookie racket in the borough. Russ' nerves get the best of him which ends up in him getting himself shot and killed by a fellow cop Sgt. Bonney. Bonney in fact was also working for Filenni and mistook Russ as a prowler when he caught him snooping around Filenni's bookie joint.
Holding himself responsible for his partners-Russ Johnson-death Pete goes all out to get those behind his murder only to end up getting his wife Jane killed with a booby trapped telephone that was meant for him. Frustrated in how little help he's getting from his fellow cops, who for the most part are in the pay of the "Syndicate", and the D.A's office Peter throws in his badge and quites the force in disgust. It's then that Pete goes out on his own to get Filenni and those in the department who are protecting him as well as the hoods who murdered his wife Jean.
Together with a reluctant Lil's help Pete gets an unsuspecting Rudi to take him, in his laundry truck, to the big bosses hideout-the laundry factory-where the sparks and bullets start flying. That's when Pete, like so many times in the movie, blows his cover and ends up with the barrel of a .38 police special aimed straight at his face.
Based on a true story "The Case Against Brooklyn", released in 1958, shows that police corruption didn't start and end with both Officer Frank Serpico-who almost lost his life fighting it-and the 1970's Knapp Commission Hearings that shockingly exposed it as not being just a couple of bad apples in the department but a whole barrel full. The fact that there's honest and dedicated policemen like Pete Harris and his late partner Russ Johnson out on the street keeping criminals honest, and behind bars, is what makes the job of being an honest cop that much more easier as well as rewarding for those on the force willing to be one.
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