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Edward G. Robinson,
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An average Los Angeles citizen witnesses a gang murder when he stops to use a telephone. Aware that he is the only witness against them, the gang members seek out his identity and terrorize him and his family to keep him from testifying against them. Only by psychologically playing one gang member against the others is the man able to bring the police to his rescue. Written by
I think that people miss the historical aspect of this movie. It was 1960 and Hollywood was just figuring out how to make a "real" and gritty crime drama. Yes the film is bizarre - Father Knows Best meets The Wild Ones or The Blackboard Jungle. The average scriptwriter probably wasn't real familiar with the daily life of street criminals and the language would have gone right over their head.
But the movie shows the by 1960 crime was becoming more of a concern for the average middle class American family. People were starting to learn that their safe, secure little worlds, weren't and that the crime of the "lower class" neighborhoods was moving into their daily life.By 1970 middle class America would be much sadder and wiser, but this film shows that crime was a concern in during the good old days of President Ike.
Basically it's an interesting look at the time.It's one of the few older movies I've come across in which there is a reference to a character, even a villain, using Cocaine. Yes the thugs are too clean and they don't look like they smell. As a cop I can tell you the one thing that movies don't convey is the smell of that world. How can they?The only movie that I can think of that came the closest was "Training Day".
Don't compare this movie to modern productions, it isn't fair. Overacting and melodramatic scripts were normal and expected. Just watch shows like Star Trek,Route 66, The Big Valley and The Fugitive. Those shows were over the top by our standards, but not back then.It isn't that bad.
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