7.3/10
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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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Director: Raoul Walsh
Stars: George Raft, Humphrey Bogart, Ann Sheridan
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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:

"If you're smart you'll come down - if you're dumb you'll be dead..." (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

After several days of filming, director Bretaigne Windust fell seriously ill and was rushed to the hospital in critical condition. Humphrey Bogart asked his old friend, director Raoul Walsh, to come in and shoot the picture until Windust recovered. Unfortunately, Windust was more seriously ill than most realized, and his recovery took several months, during which Walsh finished the film. However, Walsh refused to take screen credit for it, saying that the picture was Windust's big break and he wasn't going to take it away from him. 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

Babe Lazich: [as they enter, the moving camera is from Babe's POV] It was a big day for me. They'd seen me in the neighborhood, and now they were sending for me, but I wondered why Duke was taking me to Olga's. I was sure excited because I was finally getting in with the real boys.
James Malloy: [to someone behind the door] It's me - Duke.
Babe Lazich: Back room was just like what you'd expect at the back of a store.
[the camera pans from face to face]
Babe Lazich: Shorty - that dope! And Philadelphia - he wasn't all there, but nobody ever said that...
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

Technically good crime story
8 February 2002 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

District Attourney Ferguson loses his only witness in the trial of Albert Mendoza - the head of Murder Incorporated, an organisation of killers. With hours to go to the case is dismissed, Ferguson decides to go back over the evidence from the start to try to find something else that could be used to try him.

This film is not very famous and is never listed when people talk of Bogart. This is mainly because it's not part of his film noir, hard boiled batch and it doesn't have a strong romantic subplot. However it's still got much to cheer about. The story feels very basic by today's standards - however this was one of the first films to bring in the language of hitmen, even though now everyone knows what a "hit" and a "contract" means. The story unfolds in flashbacks, and involves flashbacks within flashbacks - so it's not as simple as you think. At it's time it was very different to other films.

The performances are all good, the group of hitmen in particular stand out in their portrayal of tough guys who turn to fear and mistrust when the law closes in. Bogart is good in a straight role but despite his billing he is not the best role. De Corsia, Sloane, Mostel et al are the real stars and are very good in their hitmen guises.

The film was based on the discovery and cases of the real "murder inc" in the 40's and is told in the crime story style that would become more used in the 1950's. Due to our familarity of the hitman scene in movies nowadays, it won't set the screen on fire but it's still very enjoyable to watch.


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