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The Purple Gang (1959)

The story of the infamous Purple Gang, a ring of bootleggers, hijackers and killers in 1920s' Detroit.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Police Lt. William P. Harley
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William Joseph 'Honeyboy' Willard
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Gladys Harley
Marc Cavell ...
Henry Abel 'Hank' Smith
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Joan MacNamara
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Daisy (as Suzy Marquette)
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Eddie Olsen (as Joseph Turkel)
Victor Creatore ...
Al Olsen
Paul Dubov ...
Thomas Allen aka Killer Burke
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Tom Olsen (as Dirk London)
Kathleen Lockhart ...
Nun
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Laurence Orlofsky
Lou Krugman ...
Dr. Riordan
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Police Commissioner
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Licovetti
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Storyline

A teen-age rat pack of the Detroit slums, the Purple Gang, headed by psychotic William Joseph "Honeyboy" Willard, teams with adult hijackers during prohibition and in three years controls the city's underworld. Detective Bill Harley is given a special assignment to break the gang. To intimidate Harley, Honeyboy and his chief henchman, Hank Smith, terrorize his pregnant wife, Gladys, who loses her baby and dies. The gang moves in on the cleaning and dyeing industry, which calls in the Mafia for protection. Hank tries to tip off Harley as to where the Mafia hoods are holed up but Honeyboy, mistaking his intentions, has Killer Burke seal him alive in a coffin and drop him in the Detroit river. Honeyboy locates the Mafia headquarters in an apartment building and goes there with two of his men. They break in and machine-gun the three Mafia leaders, Licovetti, Ricco and Castiglione. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The roaring mob of gangland's worst marauders, the 300 killers of "Honeyboy" Willard who held a gun at the heart of a city and brought the underworld to its knees! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

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Details

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Release Date:

5 January 1960 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Quadrilha Escarlate  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The real Purple Gang was made up of mostly Jewish members. The script of this film gave the members non-Jewish names. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Allied Artists says it all...
21 May 2012 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

Cheapo production. This is supposed to be the 1920s, but there is no attempt to use costumes or hair styles of that era. The men all wear 1950s hats. Robert Blake plays tough as the juvenile gang leader. Barry Sullivan walks through his part as the detective as though he wanted to be somewhere else. His wife,of course, wants him to quit. The gang looks like a Central Casting call for B-list juveniles. As clean and nice looking a bunch of hoodlums as can be imagined. If they could dance they would be ready for West Side Story. The sets are unadorned and look like they were assembled in somebody's garage. There is a lot of unconvincing gunplay and actors falling to the floor, but no blood.


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