Jerry McKibbon is a tough, no nonsense reporter, mentoring special prosecutor John Conroy in routing out corrupt officials in the city, which may even include Conroy's own police detective father as a suspect.
Johnny Damico botches a murder case and is suspended from the force. In reality, he is put undercover to identify the mysterious boss of the NY waterfront who has murdered everyone in his way. Will Johnny be next in line?
Special prosecutor John Conroy hopes to combat organized crime in his city, and appoints his cop father Matt as chief investigator. John doesn't understand why Matt is reluctant, but cynical reporter Jerry McKibbon thinks he knows: he's seen Matt with mob lieutenant Harrigan. Jerry's friendship for John is tested by the question of what to do about Matt, and by his attraction to John's girl Amanda. Meanwhile, the threatened racketeers adopt increasingly violent means of defense.Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
The setting, including street and business names and the Angel's Flight funicular railway which features, is clearly Los Angeles, but the local TV station covering the crime hearings, WRRT, has call letters commencing with the letter "W" that would only be assigned to a station east of the Mississippi. See more »
A straight up, really well made if somewhat routine crime noir.
The Turning Point (1952)
Great cast (good guys and bad), great director (William Dieterle is a stalwart Hollywood director who did "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" among many others), and solid plot. You can't go wrong. It moves fast, it makes sense, it has drama and romance, and a great shoot-em-up ending in a boxing arena.
And yet something is withheld. I think it's partly camera-work, all very shadowy and excellent, but not elegant, not pumped up and dramatic. The story, as well, is a little routine. By 1952 this kind of crime noir gangster film is old stuff. They even hint at this in the movie, by saying that the unnamed midwestern city is seeing a rise in crime in the old style, a return of 1920s gangsterism. But if they mean to return to the great gangster films, they don't quite make it.
But it's still really fine--William Holden is an understated player and therefore underrated. And the co-lead, the star of "D.O.A." and "The Hitchhiker" among a few other lesser films, is Edmond O'Brien, who is maybe at his best here. You see a curious position for Holden, hot off of "Sunset Blvd.," in a somewhat secondary role, because he might be the leading hunk, but O'Brien is the leading man.
A good film without that special something to lift it up, but without a flaw, either, in any usual sense. Totally a pleasure in its understated approach.
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