18 user 8 critic

The Gangster (1947)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 25 November 1947 (USA)
Barry Sulivan is a cynical gangster who controls the Neptune Beach waterfront. He runs a numbers racket with the local soda shop owner: the police are in his pocket and the local hoods are on his payroll.


Gordon Wiles


Daniel Fuchs (story "Low Company"), Daniel Fuchs (screenplay)


Learn more

More Like This 

The Hunted (1948)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A police detective investigating a jewel robbery discovers evidence that points to his girlfriend as the culprit, although she claims she was framed. He arrests her anyway, and she is ... See full summary »

Director: Jack Bernhard
Stars: Preston Foster, Belita, Pierre Watkin
Crack-Up (1946)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Art curator George Steele experiences a train wreck...which never happened. Is he cracking up, or the victim of a plot?

Director: Irving Reis
Stars: Pat O'Brien, Claire Trevor, Herbert Marshall
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A New York socialite climbs the ladder of success man by man until a life among rich gangsters gives her what she thought she always wanted.

Director: Vincent Sherman
Stars: Joan Crawford, David Brian, Steve Cochran
The Threat (1949)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Vicious hood 'Red' Kluger escapes from Folsom Prison and carries through on his threats to the detective who arrested him and the D.A. who got him convicted.

Director: Felix E. Feist
Stars: Michael O'Shea, Virginia Grey, Charles McGraw
The Sniper (1952)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A sniper kills young brunettes as the police attempt to grapple with the psychology of the unknown assailant.

Director: Edward Dmytryk
Stars: Arthur Franz, Adolphe Menjou, Gerald Mohr
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

An obsessed cop tracks an elusive serial killer who strangles his victims on rainy nights.

Director: Richard Fleischer
Stars: William Lundigan, Dorothy Patrick, Jeff Corey
Desperate (1947)
Crime | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A young married couple flee both police and a gangster out for revenge.

Director: Anthony Mann
Stars: Steve Brodie, Audrey Long, Raymond Burr
Certificate: Passed Drama | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

In an idyllic setting, a likable but dangerously volatile twelve-year-old boy tries to settle a score with his disagreeable, mysterious neighbor.

Director: David Bradley
Stars: George Murphy, Nancy Reagan, Billy Gray
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A psychopath takes a job as a handyman at the house of a lonely widow.

Director: Harry Horner
Stars: Ida Lupino, Robert Ryan, Taylor Holmes
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Dave Burke hires two very different debt-burdened men for a bank robbery. Suspicion and prejudice threaten to end their partnership.

Director: Robert Wise
Stars: Harry Belafonte, Robert Ryan, Gloria Grahame
The Locket (1946)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Just before a wedding, the bridegroom hears a complex tale painting his lovely bride as devilish and unbalanced.

Director: John Brahm
Stars: Laraine Day, Robert Mitchum, Brian Aherne
Roadblock (1951)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Honest LA insurance detective Joe Peters becomes corrupt after falling in love with sensual gold-digger model Diane.

Director: Harold Daniels
Stars: Charles McGraw, Joan Dixon, Lowell Gilmore


Complete credited cast:
Barry Sullivan ... Shubunka
Belita ... Nancy Starr
Joan Lorring ... Dorothy
Akim Tamiroff ... Nick Jammey
Harry Morgan ... Shorty (as Henry Morgan)
John Ireland ... Frank Karty
Sheldon Leonard ... Cornell
Fifi D'Orsay ... Mrs. Olga Ostroleng
Virginia Christine ... Mrs. Mary Karty
Elisha Cook Jr. ... Oval
Ted Hecht Ted Hecht ... Swain (as Theodore Hecht)
Leif Erickson ... Beaumont
Charles McGraw ... Dugas
John Kellogg ... Sterling


Shubunka is the self-made head of the rackets in the sleazy boardwalk community of Neptune City, a low-rent version of Coney Island. He has become infatuated with a sultry nightclub chanteuse and lavishes her with gifts and attention, spending money on her that might better go to maintaining his hold on his operation. His obsession with her, as well as his pride, clouds his judgment as Cornell, a much more ruthless hoodlum, moves in on Shubunka's territory, bribes and threatens his associates, and compromises his operation. As if in a Greek tragedy, the petty gangster's weaknesses conspire to cause his downfall. Written by duke1029@aol.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


TOLD WITH BULLET FORCE BY THE PRODUCERS OF "DILLINGER" (original ad - all caps) See more »


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

25 November 1947 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Low Company See more »

Filming Locations:

Hollywood, California, USA

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Filmed entirely on studio sound stages to spare the higher expense of location shooting (save for the b-roll of the train and beach). See more »


About 15 minutes into the picture, when people are going up and down the stairs to the elevated train platform, a shadow of the camera and crew member falls across them. See more »


Dorothy's Father: Give him time, Dorothy. It just came over the radio. They might still be on the streets looking for him. They'll shoot him!
Dorothy: I hope they do! I hope they kill him!
Dorothy's Father: [Shocked] Dorothy!
Dorothy: No, let him pay for his sins! You don't know him... the way he lives... the things he did. He's rotten! He's no-good!
See more »


Referenced in Trumbo (2015) See more »


Written by Gordon Clifford and Nacio Herb Brown
Sung by Belita (dubbed)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Patch of doomed urban poetry belies its tommygun title
11 February 2002 | by bmacvSee all my reviews

Belying the promise of tommyguns and bootleg hooch implied in its title, The Gangster instead unfolds as a patch of doomed urban poetry. Its script, by Daniel Fuchs from his novel Low Company (with, it's said, a hand from Dalton Trumbo), looks down loftily and detachedly at a handful of "little" people in a day-trippers' seaside resort way out in Brooklyn. Each character is a gear meshing precisely with other gears in a clockwork plot perhaps better suited to footlights than the kick-lights of film noir.

But its milieu and aspirations remain decidedly -- ostentatiously -- noir, from the baroque, shadowed ironwork of the El to the nighttime cloudbursts over the littered pavements. A soda fountain serves as the drama's central "set" into which self-styled racket kingpin Barry Sullivan frequently drops to flash his cufflinks. He's unable to confront the fact that his tiny crime empire is under siege and crumbling; he's too obsessed with his stage-struck mistress (Belita). Blind with jealousy and bloated with delusions of his invulnerability, he drifts impassively, almost catatonically, toward the fate that's already been meted out for him (the dramaturgy brings to mind Periclean Athens or Elizabethan London).

An unusually starry cast of noir players inhabits The Gangster, many in no more than walk-ons. Among them: Akim Tamiroff as the drugstore proprietor and Sullivan's partner; Harry Morgan as a soda jerk and Joan Lorring as cashier; Fifi D'Orsay, in an inexplicable role; John Ireland and Virginia Christine as a compulsive gambler and his despairing wife; Sheldon Leonard as Sullivan's predatory nemesis; Elisha Cook, Jr. and Charles McGraw as (what else?) thugs; even an uncredited Shelley Winters, fixing her face.

Plainly, there's a lot to admire in The Gangster, from the stagily constructed neighborhood to Louis Gruenman's melodramatic score. The trouble is that all the admirable bits and pieces don't quite jell into the organic flow of vital cinema, and the purple passages don't ring true as the street lingo of a raffish backwater called Neptune Beach.

18 of 24 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 18 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed