A detective investigating the murder of a heroin addict discovers that there is a connection between the junkie and his fiance, who is his boss' daughter.



(novel) (as Ed McBain),

Watch Now

With Prime Video



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Raça (1961)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: Augusto Fraga
Stars: Paulo Renato, Carmen Mendes, Ruy de Carvalho
Holiday Hotel (1978)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

August in Brittany at a seaside hotel. Some guests are new, some come every year and are friends. The men nearing middle age fish and plan infidelities; their wives have surprises of their ... See full summary »

Director: Michel Lang
Stars: Sophie Barjac, Myriam Boyer, Daniel Ceccaldi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Anabel Sims is determined to find the perfect husband. She thinks she's found her man in Madison Brown, a handsome pediatrician. She then prepares an elaborate scheme to trap him into marriage.

Director: Don Hartman
Stars: Cary Grant, Betsy Drake, Franchot Tone
Nenè (1978)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

In the Catholic and traditionalist Italy, two teen-agers covertly discover new prohibited games

Director: Salvatore Samperi
Stars: Leonora Fani, Tino Schirinzi, Paola Senatore
Touched (1983)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Two mental patients in an institution fall in love and plan to escape in the search of a normal life.

Director: John Flynn
Stars: Robert Hays, Kathleen Beller, Ned Beatty
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Two detectives seek a stripper's killer in the Japanese quarter of Los Angeles, but a love triangle threatens their friendship.

Director: Samuel Fuller
Stars: Victoria Shaw, Glenn Corbett, James Shigeta
Echo Park (1985)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

In the Echo Park neighborhood of Los Angeles, everyone is more than they initially seem. May waits tables, raises a son, Henry, and is an aspiring actress. She needs a roommate and takes in... See full summary »

Director: Robert Dornhelm
Stars: Susan Dey, Tom Hulce, Michael Bowen
De Flat (1994)
Mystery | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

Roos Hartman is a young doctor who lives with her son in a large apartment complex. When a fellow tenant is brutally murdered, the police and Hartman's friends suspect her mysterious ... See full summary »

Director: Ben Verbong
Stars: Renée Soutendijk, Victor Löw, Hans Hoes
The Father (TV Movie 1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A charged power struggle between spouses. A tug of war to the death of an only child as ends and means.

Director: Bo Widerberg
Stars: Thommy Berggren, Ewa Fröling, Melinda Kinnaman
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Director: Wendy Toye
Stars: Kenneth More, Shelagh Fraser, Mandy Miller
Adventure | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

In this sly comedy, six of the world's worst gangsters managed to heist $2 million, but only one got away. Now after four years in the clink, five bumbling thieves from Montreal are forced ... See full summary »

Director: Ken Scott
Stars: Roy Dupuis, Patrice Robitaille, Aure Atika
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
Director: Eddie Ling-Ching Fong
Stars: Yat Sun Chan, Yun-Fat Chow, Tat Wah Fok


Credited cast:
Kathy Carlyle ...
Felice Orlandi ...
The Pusher
Douglas Rodgers ...
Lt. Peter Byrne
Sloan Simpson ...
Harriet Byrne
Sara Amman ...
María Hernández
Jim Boles ...
Newspaper Vendor
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Eli Boraks ...
Gang member / dancer


A detective investigating the murder of a heroin addict discovers that there is a connection between the junkie and his fiance, who is his boss' daughter.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

drugs | based on novel | See All (2) »


"Here's some news for you, cop...Your daughter's mixed up in this!" See more »


Crime | Drama


See all certifications »




Release Date:

February 1960 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La garra del vicio  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

See  »

Did You Know?


Robert Lansing would continue his role as Det. Steve Carella in the 1961-62 television series 87th Precinct (1961), based on the Ed McBain (Evan Hunter) novels. See more »


Featured in Classroom Scare Films Vol. 5: More Drug Evils (1997) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Dreary drug-themed melodrama with good locations
23 July 2007 | by (Montreal) – See all my reviews

This low-budget, independent picture's most significant point of interest is its writing pedigree -- it's based on a novel by hard-boiled favorite Ed McBain, with a screenplay by the best-selling novelist Harold Robbins. This contributes to a very schizophrenic result. The influence of the former is obvious in the police procedural framework, with some interesting shot-on-location scenes in Spanish Harlem and other NYC locales. The latter's heavy hand is apparent in the overblown melodramatic scenes which especially mar the last couple of reels.

The story concerns a police detective who, while investigating the apparent suicide of a young Puerto Rican heroin addict, discovers that his middle-class daughter is involved in the same underworld. The parallels/contrasts between the white-bread girl and the poverty stricken ethnic types gives this exposé its main social significance -- presaging similar scenes in much more accomplished films like "Traffic". But of course, the good-girl-gone-bad scenario was a staple of old-time exploitation pix way back in the days of silent movies and Dwain Esper.

Unfortunately, the filmmakers, though competent enough for the most part, really have no sense of style or tension, and the film just staggers monotonously from sequence to sequence. It only comes to life during the scenes with a feisty Latin cabaret dancer (the boy's sister), and in the character of the slick pusher who lures the girls into a life of addiction and takes advantage of them in his Playboy-style bachelor pad. Though the subject matter was probably sensational at the time, most modern viewers will find the dramatic scenes clichéd and unsubtle, and the action scenes clumsy. The jazzed-up version of "Billy Boy" that reverberates on the soundtrack is a futile attempt at hipness.

The director was a top-notch Hollywood editor, but this was his only session at the helm of a movie. Watch for some absurdly intense, method-style emoting by the young actors playing gang members.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
392 Oliver Place, Bronx edwin-vargas1970
Discuss The Pusher (1960) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: