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B-movies are not necessarily bad movies...though many people think this is the case. The term 'B-movie' was originated to refer to the second feature at a double-feature. The A-picture was usually the more prestigious film....costing more and having bigger stars. The Bs, on the other hand, were short (about an hour) and often gave supporting actors a chance to be in the lead. In "Man of the People", Joseph Calleia got to strut his stuff as a leading man, as usually he played a heavy. Oddly, however, this B clocks in at a little over 80 minutes...very long for a B.
Calleia plays Jack Moreno, a poor guy from the poorer part of New York. Despite this, he's worked hard and when the film begins he's just obtained his law degree and passed the bar....and he's finally a lawyer. However, after taking a case with a defendant who's tied in with the mob, he has to make a choice...will he continue this sort of work or try something more honest and honorable. When he chooses to try running for District Attorney and doing the right thing, the strength of the mob machine shows itself.
Calleia was good...which isn't surprising, though seeing him in the lead and NOT playing an evil guy is a bit unusual! As far as the film goes, it's neither a great B nor a cheap and forgettable picture. Instead, it's very watchable and well made...and great for fans of Bs.
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