7.3/10
3,858
45 user 22 critic

The Enforcer (1951)

Approved | | Crime, Film-Noir, Thriller | 24 February 1951 (USA)
A crusading district attorney finally gets a chance to prosecute the organizer and boss of Murder Inc.

Directors:

Bretaigne Windust, Raoul Walsh (uncredited)

Writer:

Martin Rackin
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Humphrey Bogart ... Dist. Atty. Martin Ferguson
Zero Mostel ... Big Babe Lazick
Ted de Corsia ... Joseph Rico (as Ted De Corsia)
Everett Sloane ... Albert Mendoza
Roy Roberts ... Capt. Frank Nelson
Michael Tolan ... James (Duke) Malloy (as Lawrence Tolan)
King Donovan ... Sgt. Whitlow
Bob Steele ... Herman (as Robert Steele)
Adelaide Klein Adelaide Klein ... Olga Kirshen
Don Beddoe ... Thomas O'Hara
Tito Vuolo ... Tony Vetto
John Kellogg ... Vince
Jack Lambert ... Philadelphia Tom Zaca
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Storyline

After years of pursuit, Assistant D.A. Martin Ferguson has a good case against Murder, Inc. boss Albert Mendoza. Mendoza is in jail and his lieutenant Joseph Rico is going to testify. But Rico falls to his death and Ferguson must work through the night going over everything to build the case anew. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

HUMPHREY BOGART As The Double-Fisted District Attorney Who Matched Bullet For Bullet With A Nationwide Network Of Killers-For-Hire! (One-sheet poster) See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 February 1951 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Der Tiger See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,109,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$1,584,000, 31 December 1951

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,873,000, 31 December 1951
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

United States Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Everett Sloane, who plays the kingpin of the underworld in this movie, provided the voice of do-gooder Dick Tracy in the 1961 cartoon shorts based loosely on the Chester Gould comic strip. See more »

Goofs

Near the middle of the film the two young women are talking with each other outside in front of a house. After their conversation one of them walks toward the street. As she walks almost out of the picture you can see the shadow of the camera move across her body. See more »

Quotes

D.A. Martin Ferguson: We could protect him against everything but himself.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Vertigo (1958) See more »

Soundtracks

Kiss Me Sweet
(uncredited)
Written by Milton Drake
Played over the sidewalk loudspeakers
See more »

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User Reviews

Fast, Tough, and Unsentimental
23 June 2008 | by dougdoepkeSee all my reviews

Bogart may be the star, but it's De Corsia who supplies the vitality. The opening sequence remains a riveting case study in wild-eyed fear, as Rico (de Corsia) sweats a bucket load even though he's safely behind police walls. He's got good reason to sweat. The real life character that Rico appears based on, Abe "Kid Twist" Reles, ended up dead in police custody, somehow falling from a fifth story window before testifying against Murder Inc. How convenient.

This may not be the Warner Bros. of the 1930's, but it's still fast, tough, and unsentimental. And when killer Digger lets out a yelp knowing his turn has come, I was chilled to the bone and without need of fancy special effects. If the first 15 minutes amounts to paranoia run amok, the last amounts to suspense in spades as a cold-eyed killer stalks an unsuspecting girl along crowded city streets.

What a great cast of character parts-- plug-ugly psycho Jack Lambert all wrapped up in ice and apparently loving it; Fatso Zero Mostel auditioning as an assassin but serving as a kick-me doorstop instead; and a menacing Bob Steele brandishing a revolver instead of his usual six-gun, along with such familiar yet unsung faces as police chief Roy Roberts and detective King Donovan who gets an unscheduled face wash and without a towel. District attorney Bogart's good too, blending in nicely instead of trying to hog the screen as major stars sometimes do.

No romantic clinches here, just a chilling tale about an ambitious guy with a bright idea that can't be advertised in the Yellow Pages. Things get pretty complicated trying to fit the flashbacks into the unfolding events, but it all comes together in the end. Can't say I was impressed, however, by the key that unlocks the puzzle. Seems pretty far-fetched and certainly wouldn't work in these days of colorized contacts. Nonetheless, this is a surprisingly tense and uncompromised look at touchy subject that's since become familiar, but still merits a look-see.


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