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Rival gangs in a small city are escalating their violence: the Pepper Tree Gang of poor whites and a group from the Mexican section of town have traded an eye for an eye. The Mexican gang, led by Danny, is having a dance that night at their new club; the police think the Pepper Tree Gang will show up to fight. A lieutenant asks Danny to agree to a truce, and Danny takes a walk to think about it - going over the last nine years of his life in an angry world that's made him feel isolated and unloved. He thinks back to a friend's death when they were 10. He has an insight into his past and he goes to the lieutenant. Is there a path out of violence? Written by
Based on a true story that took place in California. There is a Mexican gang and a white gang who hate each other with a passion. They're going to have an all out war to see who's better. The police hear about this and talk to Danny the leader of the Mexican gang to try to prevent it. The movie goes back in time and shows how,and why, the Mexican gang started. Then it comes back and shows Danny making a decision. It all leads to an unbelievable but predictable happy ending.
Back in 1954 this must have been hard-hitting. Fights between interracial gangs were not shown in movies at all. Seen today it comes across as obvious and simplistic. They used real gang members to play the roles of the kids to add authenticity...but they were horrible actors. There was some very obvious overdubbing and the "fights" were obviously staged and ineptly done--it's pretty obvious that none of the kids were hurt. Still this movie is well intentioned and shed some light on a subject that most Americans didn't know about. For that alone I give it a 6.
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