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 ...
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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 »
A real scandal involving several NYPD police officers stationed in Brooklyn was the basis for this crime and corruption story that became the plot for The Case Against Brooklyn.
Cops are being paid off at an alarming rate to close their eyes and look the other way as illegal betting parlors open up for business all over the Borough of homes and churches. The District Attorney in Kings County who at that time in real life was a man named Edward Silver is determined to do something about it. In the film the character's name is Michael Norris and he's played by Tol Avery.
What Avery's decided to do is literally hijack the whole graduating class at the Academy and have them work for him undercover. One of them, Darren McGavin is sent undercover to romance the recent widow of Joe DeSantis who committed suicide so his double indemnity clause could pay off Nestor Paiva the bookie who's sent some of his enforcers around to collect. As McGavin romances Margaret Hayes that certainly puts a strain on his marriage to Peggy McCay.
And the triangle becomes four sided as Warren Stevens who does a bit of everything for Paiva, muscle, bagman, and even hit-man also starts courting Hayes to see what could spill to the cops, if she can find some that she can trust.
Best performances in the film by far are from DeSantis and Hayes. As the victim you can feel things closing in for DeSantis as he makes that final gesture for his wife's solvency. And Hayes you can feel sorry for the fact she's being used by both sides.
How it all ends, let me say that the climax takes a leaf from the Fritz Lang noir classic The Big Heat and if you know that film, you know about 80% of how the story will come out.
McGavin himself is a ruthless sort looking to prove himself, knowing that a good job here will cement his reputation. In real life it would have gained him a long career in Internal Affairs.
A year after the Dodgers left Brooklyn, The Case Against Brooklyn is a fine noir drama based on a real incident in the beloved former home of the Bums.
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