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The Turning Point (1952)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 1 December 1952 (UK)
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.

Director:

William Dieterle

Writers:

Warren Duff (screenplay), Horace McCoy (based on a story by)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
William Holden ... Jerry McKibbon
Edmond O'Brien ... John Conroy
Alexis Smith ... Amanda Waycross
Tom Tully ... Matt Conroy
Ed Begley ... Neil Eichelberger
Danny Dayton ... Roy Ackerman
Adele Longmire ... Carmelina LaRue
Ray Teal ... Clint, Police Captain
Ted de Corsia ... Harrigan
Don Porter ... Joe Silbray
Howard Freeman ... Fogel
Neville Brand ... Red
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Storyline

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 <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Today's most sensational story of racket-busting !


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 December 1952 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

This Is Dynamite! See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
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

William Holden and Neville Brand co-starred in this film. Holden and Brand would later reunite the following year in Billy Wilder's Stalag 17 See more »

Connections

Referenced in Biography: Carolyn Jones: Morticia and More (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Prelude
(uncredited)
from Desert Fury (1947)
Music by Miklós Rózsa
See more »

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User Reviews

Well Woven
25 July 2015 | by dougdoepkeSee all my reviews

The 85-minutes amounts to a surprisingly good blend of a complexly constructed narrative. The personal, romantic, and political all combine here in what's clearly an effort to tap into Kefauver anti-racketeering hearings of the time. Only here it's Eddie O'Brien as legal eagle Conroy, aided by Holden as hawkshaw reporter McKibbon, both on the trail of racketeering kingpin Ed Begley as Eichelberger. Trouble is Conroy's policeman dad (Tully) has been on the take, so his son must now publicly expose him. Then too, Conroy and buddy McKibbon are in love with same girl, Smith as Amanda. There're a number of threads here, most of which weave in and out effectively.

The two biggest pluses are an expert cast, right down to lethally skinny Danny Dayton (Roy) and unforgettable heavy Neville Brand (Red). While dual leads, Holden and O'Brien, low-key their parts effectively. Together, the cast makes the material more plausible than it should be. Second, are the tacky LA locations, from Olympic boxing arena, to skid row, to beloved Angel's Flight tram. The seedy backgrounds also lend a patina of urban realism. Highlights include Red figuring out a catwalk above a fight arena, and the brutal blowing up of Arco's office showing the cruel reality behind Eichelberger's smooth exterior. And catch that surprise ending I didn't see coming.

I expect the b&w film was out of step with the Technicolor extravaganzas Hollywood was turning to at the time. The noirish parts especially have a 40's feel to them. Note early clunky appearance of that upstart menace TV, then making inroads into theatre attendance. Too bad this generous slice of professionalism likely got lost in the mix. It may not be one of Holden's better-known films. Nonetheless, the strong points make the 85-minutes worth catching up with.


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