On the beach one night, Christine Faber, two years a widow, thinks she hears her late husband Paul calling out of the surf...then meets a tall dark man, Alexis, who seems to know all about ... See full summary »
Vincent Lubeck is a vicious ex-convict. His criminal activities are despised by his family, but he uses and abuses them in the course of his crimes. Eventually his own brother must stand up to him.Written by
Jim Beaver <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Lawrence Tierney at most feral in brutal, starvation-budget programmer
The Hoodlum opens with a montage illustrating Lawrence Tierney's rap sheet, starting when he was a holy terror still in short pants. From preparatory work in juvenile hall to matriculation at the Big House, he majored in recidivism and minored in anti-social personality disorder. When, now a surly menace, he comes up for parole, most members of the board object but are swayed by the tearful pleas of his saintly immigrant mother (Lisa Golm), who thinks he's misunderstood (by the time she's on her deathbed, she's comparing him to the city dump).
Released, he moves back home. He's reluctantly offered, and reluctantly takes, a job at the filling station owned by his straight-arrow sibling (and real-life brother Ed Tierney, later Tracy; actor Scott Brady was a third brother). But, apart from a personal campaign to prove that the customer is never right, Tierney's main interest is getting into the pants of the bank manager's secretary who works across the street so he can plan his next big job. (He also manages, in his off-hours, to rape and impregnate his brother's fiancée, driving her to suicide.) The rest of the movie recounts the brutal bank heist, which is synchronized with a phonily arranged funeral....
The Hoodlum was made at a time when Tierney's off-screen roughhousing was starting to make him, after striking roles in Born to Kill and The Devil Thumbs A Ride, an undesirable in Hollywood. It's a short, stripped-down, starvation-budget programmer. Still, it shows those ragged edges that more artifice might have smoothed away (the rape and pregnancy are startling for their era); a few plot strands seem like distant echoes of the incomparably superior White Heat, of two years earlier. The most noteworthy aspect of The Hoodlum's script is that Tierney undergoes no character development whatsoever: He starts out as a cur and dies like a dog.
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