7.1/10
161
5 user 7 critic

Shakedown (1950)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 1 September 1950 (USA)
Unscrupulous and opportunistic San Francisco news media photographer Jack Early steps-on and uses folks, to get ahead, but in the end he tangles with the wrong people.

Director:

Joseph Pevney (as Joe Pevney)

Writers:

Nat Dallinger (story), Martin Goldsmith (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Howard Duff ... Jack Early
Brian Donlevy ... Nick Palmer
Peggy Dow ... Ellen Bennett
Lawrence Tierney ... Harry Colton
Bruce Bennett ... David Glover
Anne Vernon ... Nita Palmer (as Ann Vernon)
Peter Virgo Peter Virgo ... Roy
Charles Sherlock ... Sam
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Rock Hudson ... Ted
Edit

Storyline

Jack Early is a go getting photographer who is determined to make a name for himself. He manages to be hired by a major San Francisco newspaper and from then on he is prepared to do anything to achieve his aim. Undaunted by anything, Early sinks into the underworld where gang boss Nick Palmer takes him under his wing. Thanks to him, Jack can take sensational snapshots of heisters at work. Which is not enough for him. Soon, thinking he is protected by the compromising photos he keeps taking, he starts manipulating and double crossing hoodlums, including his mentor Nick Palmer... Written by Guy Bellinger

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Turn Your Back on Blackmail...And You'll Get a BULLET In It! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 September 1950 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Magnificent Heel See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Unreleased in Paris. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Ambition rears its noir head
2 March 2016 | by XhcnoirXSee all my reviews

Howard Duff is an ambitious photographer looking for a job at a newspaper. Once he does, his ambitions start to skyrocket. His brash attitude gets him a snapshot of mobster Brian Donlevy, who takes a shine to him. Donlevy informs him of a robbery his competitor Lawrence Tierney is about to do, and Duff soon has himself another sensational photograph. After he photographs Tierney planting a bomb in Donlevy's car, he tries to blackmail Tierney while also hitting on Donlevy's widow Anne Vernon. Duff thinks he's in control but he's already in way over his head.

Ouch, the print I saw was in bad, bad shape, it seems like a 4th generation VHS recording, washed out with a slightly warped image. But don't let this stop you, this is a really good noir! It is always nice to see a noir where the 'protagonist' is a bigger bastard than the mobsters, including Lawrence Tierney!

Duff does a good job of portraying a man who seems like he's just anxious to find a job but who you soon realize is selfish, ruthless and only out for himself. He even tries to play 2 women at the same time, a mobster's widow and an editor at the newspaper, Peggy Dow (who already has a fiancée!). Donlevy and Tierney do what they excel at, playing rough, no-nonsense men. The rest of the supporting cast, which also includes Bruce Bennett as the chief editor, are equally solid. The cast has a ton of noir credentials between them, including 'The Naked City', 'The Glass Key', 'Born To Kill', 'Mildred Pierce' and many more... For French actress Vernon this was her only Hollywood movie however, but she's great here, bringing a lot of charm to her role.

This was director Joseph Pevney's first movie ('Female On The Beach', 'The Midnight Story'), but he does really well here. DoP Irving Glassberg ('Outside The Wall', 'The Web') also does good work here, making good use of real locations like a parking garage.

Don't let the bad picture quality deter you, this is the real deal, complete with a noir ending. Good stuff! Recommended! 8/10


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