6.9/10
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10 user 7 critic

Pay or Die (1960)

Unrated | | Crime, Drama | 27 July 1960 (USA)
Movie deals with organized crime "protection" rackets. Small shopkeepers are forced to pay for protection or else be brutalized or killed.

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2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Adelina Saulino
Alan Austin ...
Johnny Viscardi
Renata Vanni ...
Mama Saulino
Bruno Della Santina ...
Papa Saulino
...
Vito Zarillo
...
Police Commissioner
...
Luigi Di Sarno
...
...
Lupo Miano (as John Duke)
...
Officer Simonetti
...
D. Caputo, Ragman
Nick Pawl ...
Palumbo
Mario Siletti ...
Enzo Loria
Vincent Barbi ...
Fabraka, Driver
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Storyline

Movie deals with organized crime "protection" rackets. Small shopkeepers are forced to pay for protection or else be brutalized or killed. Written by <THX1138@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Threat...and The Picture...You'll Never Forget! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

27 July 1960 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Betal eller dø  »

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 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Adelina Saulino: An Irish man? I never heard of one who was nice... or smart.
Police Lt. Joseph Petrosino: Ah, that's what they say about the Italians.
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Connections

Remake of The Adventures of Lieutenant Petrosino (1912) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Joseph Petrosino 1860-1909
8 August 2012 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Pay Or Die is the story of Police Lieutenant Joseph Petrosino and his struggle against the infamous Black Hand who has moved over from the old country in Sicily and is terrorizing the new Italian immigrants just trying to make it in a new country. The Black Hand is sad to say an unhappy reminder of what they left.

During the course of the film at one point Ernest Borgnine and Zohra Lampert as Mrs. Petrosino drink a toast to President Theodore Roosevelt. It's not just an idle toast. Not told in the film is the fact that as Police Commissioner, Roosevelt recognized the talent in Petrosino and made him a personal protégé and started his climb up the NYPD promotion ladder.

What attracted TR to Petrosino is the no nonsense way he dealt with criminals. Petrosino was not a guy who believed in civil liberties and rights for criminals. He'd be lost in a world of Miranda. But he was as he saw it representing the forces of law and order against a completely ruthless enemy. Just the guy you need to fight a war on terror.

His life and tragic death are dealt with in a way that makes Petrosino terribly human. Zohra Lampert's character who marries Petrosino survived him by decades, dying in 1957. She and Borgnine make a perfect couple on screen. In the supporting cast Robert Ellenstein stands out as an Italian shyster lawyer who gets a really tragic comeuppance.

Pay Or Die is a well constructed albeit B picture without any frills. It holds up well for today and should be in the ranks of great gangster films.


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