Fourteen-year-old Tolly Devlin sees four hoods beat his father to death. Twenty years later, the killers have risen to the top of the crime syndicate and Tolly has a plan for revenge. Written by
Erik Gregersen <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Hanging on the wall in Driscoll's office is a certificate bearing the symbol of the U.S. Army's First Infantry Division - the unit that Samuel Fuller served in during World War II and depicted in his 1980 film, The Big Red One. The same typestyle for the infantry's numeral "1" is also featured in a reading-campaign poster in front of National Accounts, the gangster headquarters building. See more »
Anyone who doesn't realize that Sam Fuller used The Count Of Monte Cristo as his inspiration for Underworld USA has not read too much classical literature. Or seen any of the film adaptations of same. Nevertheless the imprint of Alexander Dumas's classic French novel is unmistakable.
Young David Kent suffers the loss of his father who was beaten to death at the hands of four thugs. Later on he takes up a life of crime and goes to jail. By now he's an adult and played by Cliff Robertson. One of the four thugs who murdered dad is dying in the prison hospital and confesses and names to Robertson his accomplices.
After that Robertson works as methodically as Edmond Dantes now the Count Of Monte Cristo working his way into the confidences of the mob bosses who were back in the day the same thugs who killed his old man. He makes a lot of alliances of convenience, one being a hooker played by Dolores Dorn, another being a special federal prosecutor played by Larry Gates.
Robertson is fine as the old style kind of hoodlum that would have found a home in the Warner Brothers gangster flicks of the Thirties. However for my book Dolores Dorn got her career role in Underworld USA. She registers as both tough and fragile at the same time and she does bring out the humanity in Robertson.
As for how it ends, don't think of The Count Of Monte Crist, rather if you've seen the great James Cagney/Humphrey Bogart film The Roaring Twenties than you know how Underworld USA ends.
Sam Fuller did a great job with his cast and Underworld USA is a classic noir/gangster thriller not to be missed.
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