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Robert Taylor rises to a personal best in grim look at urban corruption in mid-20th century America
bmacv29 August 2004
By 1954, the noir cycle had already sounded most of its dissonant themes. Audiences had seen the crooked cop with the straight-arrow younger brother (The Man Who Cheated Himself); the shantoozie with a past (Gilda, Dead Reckoning, The Last Crooked Mile); the slick mobster beyond the reach of the law with his alcoholic, trophy mistress (Key Largo, Railroaded,The Big Heat); the street-savvy old jane who passes on scuttlebutt for a price (Pickup on South Street). But, as Roy Rowland's Rogue Cop demonstrates, there were still changes to be rung on those themes, jazzed up with fresh casting and pithy writing.

Here, the cop gone sour isn't a homicidal brute like Edmond O'Brien in the same year's Shield For Murder (both movies were adapted from books by William McGivern, as was Fritz Lang's The Big Heat). He's dapper, laid-back Robert Taylor, known by his `brothers' on the force to be on the take but given a wide berth despite it (it's the thin blue line's equivalent of omertà).

When his younger brother Steve Forrest, also a policeman, identifies a connected hit-man, Taylor receives a summons from his paymaster, crime boss George Raft. Either Forrest recants his testimony, in return for a $15-grand payoff, or he'll be killed (the accused knows too much and might sing if convicted). Upon delivering the ultimatum, Taylor gets rebuffed by Forrest; he then tries to blackmail his brother's fiancée Janet Leigh, a nightclub singer, into trying to change his mind. Taylor doesn't really want Forrest to go bad, he just doesn't want him dead.

But Raft plays tougher than Taylor imagines. Lulling Taylor into thinking he still has time, Raft has Forrest shot in the back. And so the worm turns: Using both Leigh and Raft's discarded moll Anne Francis as his allies, Taylor swears vengeance....

Crisply photographed by John Seitz, Rogue Cop burrows snugly into its rotten urban core – a city of dreadful night. With its large and aptly chosen cast, it nonetheless rests squarely on the shoulders of its central character, Taylor, who comes through with the performance of his career. At age 42, he passes muster as a burnt-out cop who's sold out for easy money – in this urban jungle, corruption is just another perk passed up only by fools -- but still has the wits and the will to spring a few surprises when cornered.

There's plenty of brutal, even sadistic, action, but Rogue Cop is less an action picture than a character study that Taylor, somewhat surprisingly, manages to pull off. With its siblings The Big Heat and Shield For Murder, Rogue Cop makes up a grim tryptich of big-town America in the mid-20th century.
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Gritty and exciting
MartinHafer13 July 2007
Warning: Spoilers
While this film does not have every one of the usual trademarks of Film Noir, it is very much a Noir-style film. Like true Noir, Robert Taylor is not a typical cop but one on the take from the mob. The problem is that these thugs are now pressuring him to make his brother, another cop, refuse to identify a petty thug who murdered someone. The problem is that while Taylor isn't above lying or cheating, his brother (Steve Forrest) is a decent guy and won't play along with the crooks. So Taylor is stuck--should he obey his masters who have bought and paid for him or should he remain loyal to his brother? This makes for a great dilemma and also allows Taylor to play one of his grittier and more rugged roles (something I really appreciated after all the "pretty boy" roles of the 1930s and early 40s). I particularly liked watching Taylor in an all-out brawl with Alan Hale, Jr., as Taylor ending up beating him with a brutal punch to the throat! Now THAT'S what you expect in Noir! Overall, this film is well made and interesting. About the only negative is one brief scene with Janet Leigh when Taylor kisses her--it just doesn't ring true. Still, this one's a keeper and well worth your time.
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Hard And Tough
bkoganbing9 June 2007
With some of the roles he played as he got older, it's hard to believe that at one time MGM was worried about a powder puff image that Robert Taylor had in his youth.

Seeing Taylor as Chris Kelvaney in Rogue Cop is like seeing a whole different player than Armand in Camille. But it's the same guy and a film like Rogue Cop brings out the maturity and depth Taylor had as an artist as well as a person.

Taylor is a long time big city cop on the take to gangland boss George Raft. He's risen pretty high in the department and could go farther. He's a pretty cynical dude, in his chosen field he's seen a lot of the worst that people can be.

But he's got a kid brother played by Steve Forrest who's a straight arrow. He doesn't know about his brother and he gets himself killed because he crosses Raft in the performance of his duty.

Forrest's death gives Taylor a mission, he'll take Raft down no matter what it costs.

There are two prominent female roles, Janet Leigh as Forrest's girl friend who later develops an interest in Taylor and Anne Francis as Raft's moll who turns against him. Both women hold their own in what is a male dominated film. Francis borrows quite a bit from Gloria Grahame and her performance in The Big Heat. Also both Rogue Cop and The Big Heat have blackmail of a syndicate boss as the underpinning of the story.

Raft of course is in his element as a gangland boss. In the rest of the cast there's a very nice performance by Robert Ellenstein as Taylor's honest partner. The final shootout with Raft and company with the two of them is one of the best and most realistic ever staged in a film.

For Robert Taylor fans, Rogue Cop is an absolute must and people who don't think much of Taylor as player will be jolted at how well he does in this film.
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Exciting , hard-boiled film noir
jhawk-231 July 1999
Robert Taylor plays Chris Kelvaney, a dirty cop on the take with the mob in this exciting police drama. Taylor goes on a campaign of revenge against those very mobsters, who decide to kill Kelvaney's brother, also a cop, for witnessing something that could incriminate the mob leaders.

The biggest surprise here is Robert Taylor's performance as the dirty cop. We have seen him play many rather stiff heroic types such as in "Ivanhoe", but here, he is tough and gritty as the dirty cop, and very believable. The dialogue in this movie is sharp and well written and similar to a Raymond Chandler detective novel. There is also a good fist-fight between Alan Hale, Jr. ( yes! the skipper on Gilligans Island) and Robert Taylor. A top notch supporting cast rounds out what is an overall good movie , especially for those who like the old hard-boiled detective stories.
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Nice crime melodrama with Taylor in top form...
Neil Doyle31 March 2002
Robert Taylor puts an even harder edge on his 'Johnny Eager' type of role with another hard-boiled, even tougher characterization as a man steeped in underworld crime until his brother (Steve Forrest) is killed by mosbsters. Crisply directed, nice all-around performances from an attractive cast--Janet Leigh, Steve Forrest, George Raft, Alan Hale, Jr.--with Taylor highly convincing in the tough central role.

Not the kind of gritty film noir one would suspect coming from the MGM studios--but well worth it with its Raymond Chandler type of dialogue and a climactic gun fight that is extremely well handled.

Crime buffs should enjoy this one--as will Robert Taylor's fans.
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Tough, cynical, nasty--and from MGM!
frankfob27 March 2003
A hard-edged, gritty, violent little crime drama from, of all studios, MGM! Probably the closest that studio ever came to a noir thriller, only the overall gloss gives it away as an MGM film (guess they just couldn't help themselves); otherwise it could well have come from Warners or RKO. Robert Taylor is in top form as a hardened detective who has been immersed for so long in the seedy, seamy world of big-city crime that he finally succumbs to its corruption and is even tempted to sell out his younger brother, who is also a policeman. George Raft as the slimy crime boss, Janet Leigh as his brother's pretty, sweet (but hardly naive) fiancé, Robert Ellenstein (in a standout performance) as his partner and friend who doesn't want to see Taylor become the kind of lowlife he's always hated, all combine with a Chandler-esqe script by Sydney Boehm, tough, no-nonsense direction from Roy Rowland (a reliable but somewhat stolid director of mainly westerns and musicals) and a violent, action-filled climax to make this a must-see for noir fans. Highly recommended.
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Robert Taylor at his best as the hard nosed, corrupt cop!
mamalv14 February 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Robert Taylor was a wonderful choice for this film about a crooked cop, who likes the high life and has little respect for his honest colleagues. What would eventually stop Chris Kelvaney (Taylor), would be the death of his brother Eddie played by Steve Forrest. He was an honest cop and crosses the mob by identifying a killer, they are tied to by blackmail. This is the part of a lifetime for Taylor as he walks with the dirt and corruption of the mob boss, George Raft. Raft is icy, his black eyes never showing any emotion until he dumps his girl (Anne Francis) of Honey West fame, and sends her to the gutter "giving" her to his friends. Janet Leigh does a nice job as Eddie's reluctant girl, not knowing if she loves him, and when she is confronted by Chris about her shady past with the mob, falls apart. Taylor is trying to make her help him save Eddie, telling her he will spill the beans about her back- ground. She refuses and he roughs her up, ending the confrontation by kissing her, and after she somewhat submits to the embrace, he tells her she is no better than he. Robert Ellenstein is Kelvaney's partner, and is sick of the "take," but in the end helps Chris get the killers. This film is a favorite of the NYPD along with another Taylor film "Johnny Eager." Taylor's performance as "Johnny Eager" was superb, but I think this mature role with Taylor fighting, snarling, and just in general being disgusted with everything out shines even that much ignored Oscar caliber performance of 1942. Great noir, for all those crime film fans. 2008 By the way, if you watch closely, the scene in the brothers house, the photo on the mantle is really Taylor's baby picture with his mother holding him and his father kneeling next to her. I have watched this film dozens of times and never noticed it till today.
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Great movie. A very interesting side of Mr. Taylor.
This picture is an example of a perfect cast. The leading role is a possibility for Robert Taylor to prove that he is an allrounder as an actor. Hard, dirty and gritty - he even use "angelface" Janet Leigh for his interests. Miss Leigh as pretty and credible as always. The same to George Raft. He even could play his part asleep. Anne Francis, Steve Forrest and Vince Edwards are also convincing. Roy Rowland (he directs Taylor in the western-comedy-hit "Many rivers to cross") captures the atmosphere of policeman and gentleman-gangster. Writer Boehm also is the author of "The big heat" an movie which is similar in atmosphere and plot.
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I never could stand the stink of a crooked cop!
sol121814 July 2006
Warning: Spoilers
**SOME SPOILERS** Being on the scene of a murder by giving the escaped killer "Wrinkels" Fallon, Peter Brcco, a parking ticket policeman Eddie Kelvaney, Steve Forrest,has him picked out of a lineup and put in jail to be tried at a later date, What Eddie doesn't know is that "Wrinkles" got the goods on big time mobsters Beumonte and Ackerman, George Raft & Robert F. Simon, whom he's been blackmailing for over 10 years. The two hoods are now literally scared to death with what Wrinkles' got on them that he'll make a deal with the D.A for a lighter sentence to turn states evidence on them.

Beaument and Ackerman do have an ace up their sleeve in having Eddie recant his testimony and that's non-other then his big brother Det. Chis Kelvaney, Robert Taylor, who's been taking payoff from them for years. Chris Kelvaney is giving the task to keep his kid brother's mouth shut with a $15,000.00 payoff himself for doing it. It just turns out that Eddie is an incorruptible good and honest cop like his and Chris late and highly decorated father and in trying to do the right thing. The right thing ends up landing him right on a cold slab in the city morgue.

Robert Taylor playing a corrupt cop is at his handsome and devilish best as Det. Kalvaney as he goes through a change of life realizing what a creep he was all these years and a disgrace to not only the police department but to brother Eddie and late hero cop dad. Kalvaney dealing with crumbs like Beaumonte & Ackerman in the end redeems himself by getting blasted and left bleeding to death in a violent shootout with them.

Trying to get Eddie's girl Karen, Janet Leigh, to talk him out of testifying against Wrinkle's Det. Kelvaney blackmails her. Threatening to exposed Karen of not only being, well let's just say,both used and damaged merchandise but also being notorious Miami gangster Farnkie Nemo's #1 moll. Karen at first outraged at Eddie's big brothers disgusting and underhanded tactics finally goes along with him only if it would save Eddie's life. Det. Kelvaney given by his bosses, Beaumonte & Ackerman, 48 hours to turn Eddie around is instead double cross. The two hoods have Eddie gunned down that evening in full sight of his terrified girl Karen even before she has a chance to get Eddie to change his mind in testifying.

It's during these stressful and heart wrenching times that Det. Kelvaney finally sees what a disgrace he was to both his brother dad and finally to himself and has a complete break with his sleazy past. The rogue cop goes full out, even if it cost him his life, to get Beaumonte & Ackerman not only to clear his guilty conscience but also bring his brothers killers to justice.

Also in the movie is a pre-Ben Casey Vince Edwards playing hit-man Joey Langly who's brought in from out of town to knock off Eddie. Langly later gets the living hell beaten out of him by Det. Kelvany and never gets to see the inside of a prison cell. With him being gunned down himself in a shootout between Kelvany, and unlike himself, straight laced and honest cop Det Myers, Robert Ellenstein, and gangsters Beaomonte & Ackerman.

There's also a very young Anne Francis as Beaumonte's live-in moll Nancy whom he keep drunk all the time,to keep her mind off his business. Later after she got on Beaumonte's nerves by pouring a bucket of ice cubes over his head after an outraged, Det. Kelvaney worked him over and broke it, which has her being kicked out of his penthouse and into, as an act of unholy revenge, one of Beaumonte's sleazy illegal business establishments Fonzo's whorehouse. That lead Nancy to reveal, to Det. Kelvaney, just what exactly Wrinkles got on him and his partner Ackerman that the two hoodlums would go as far as murdering a policeman to keep from seeing the light of day.
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Nasty, Brutal Noir - Excellent
gordonl569 July 2016
Warning: Spoilers

Bent cops, the Mob, murder and revenge are all at the top of the bill in this MGM production. The cast includes, Robert Taylor, Steve Forrest, George Raft, Janet Leigh, Anne Francis, Robert Ellenstein, Alan Hale Jr, Robert F. Simon, Olive Carey and Vince Edwards.

Robert Taylor plays a crooked Detective who is on the payroll of Mob boss, George Raft. Raft calls up Taylor for a meeting at the race track. Raft needs Taylor to have a word with Taylor's kid brother, rookie cop, Steve Forrest. Forrest is the only witness against a murderer, Peter Brocco that the Mob wants released. The Mob is willing to cough up 10 large for Forrest to have some memory issues.

Taylor has a talk with his brother but Forrest is not interested. Taylor tells Forrest that the Mob is not inclined to take no for an answer. Taylor also has a word with Forrest's girl, nightclub singer, Janet Leigh. Taylor wants Leigh to "suggest" to Forrest that the 10 grand would let them get married and such. Forrest still refuses to play ball. Taylor has another meeting with Raft and Raft's Mob boss, Robert F. Simon. Taylor asks why this particular man, Peter Brocco is so important. He gets no answer to the question, instead Raft tells Taylor that Forrest had best agree to the deal, or else drastic measures will be taken. Taylor loses his cool which ends with Raft and himself exchanging punches with Raft taking a thumping. (As does Raft's bodyguard, Alan Hale Jr) Taylor warns Raft and Simon that he will be most upset if anything happens to his brother.

In the middle of all this is the alcoholic girlfriend of Raft, Anne Francis. After Taylor pounds on Raft he takes it out on Francis after she cracks about the beating.

The film now goes to a straight up vengeance picture as the Mob does indeed kill Forrest. Taylor goes off the rails as he goes after Brocco to find out what he has on Raft and company. Turns out Brocco had witnessed Raft and Simon do a murder years ago, and has been blackmailing them since. Bodies are needless to say going to pile up along the way here.

For a MGM film, this is a real change of pace with plenty of violence etc. Robert Taylor is excellent as the bent cop as is Raft as the mobster. The screenplay is by Sydney Boehm from the novel of William P. McGivern. McGivern also wrote the novels for ODDS AGAINST TOMORROW, THE BIG HEAT, HELL ON FRISCO BAY and SHIELD FOR MURDER. All these novels were turned into films.

ROGUE COP cinematographer, John F Seitz was nominated for an Oscar for Best Cinematography. Seitz was a favourite of Alan Ladd and worked with Ladd over 20 times. The 7 time Oscar nominated Seitz was a sure hand in the Noir genre with, SUNSET BLVD, THE LOST WEEKEND, THIS GUN FOR HIRE, CALCUTTA, SAIGON, THE BIG CLOCK, CHICAGO DEADLINE, APPOINTMENT WITH DANGER and DOUBLE INDEMNITY as examples of his work.
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Two brothers
jotix10028 August 2010
Warning: Spoilers
An amusement arcade is the scene where a man is killed. Eddie Kelvaney, who sees the murderer running away from the scene, identifies the man as a hired assassin working for the powerful Dan Beaumonte. Little does Eddie realize, but his brother Chris is deeply involved with the criminal behind the killing. The squad detectives that work with Chris have all figured that Chris is a man on the take.

Beaumonte calls Chris to try to convince his brother to change his testimony in exchange for fifteen thousand dollars, something that appalls Eddie. When Eddie is found murdered, Chris makes a decision that will put him against the big boss. Meeting his brother's girlfriend, Karen, brings him back to the moment when he was seeing her. The inner turmoil within Chris will ultimately let him do the right thing as he avenges the death of his brother, thus redeeming him from the bad choices he had made.

"Rogue Cop" an MGM release of 1954 was a surprise. Directed by Roy Rowland, a veteran with a long career in movies, the film proved to be much better than we had expected thanks to the tight screenplay by Sydney Boehm. The idea that an enforcement officer, in this case a detective that loved the kind of life he could not afford, working for the other side, was a change of pace for the way audiences accepted them, which was always a gamble on the part of the big studios.

The film works because of the right elements came together to make this story credible and the appearance of Robert Taylor, who excels as Chris Kelvaney. The actor was always a great presence on the screen, as he proves in here. In spite of playing the bad guy, the viewer does not feel repulsed by what he is trying to do. One keeps hoping for some goodness in the man, and that is what happens after he sees how expendable he was.

George Raft finally had a role that fitted his public image. He had been in a series of flops after his tough guy career at Warner Bros. Janet Leigh plays the sweet Karen Stephanson, who never really got over of what she felt about Chris, only to hook up with his brother. Others in the cast included Anne Francis, Robert Ellenstein, Steve Forrest and Alan Hale Jr. doing good ensemble work. Richard Deacon shows up in an uncredited cameo.

Recommended for fans of the genre.
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A Morality Play Masquerading as a Gangster Film
judithh-17 July 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Rogue Cop is a movie about sin, redemption and forgiveness. The story is told through the life of Det. Sgt. Chris Kelvaney (Robert Taylor), a crooked cop. Kelvaney is living high off his contacts in the underworld, dressing beautifully and throwing money around as no honest cop could. He has a younger brother Eddie (Steve Forrest), a uniformed cop on the beat. One night Eddie sees a murderer escaping from the crime scene and subsequently identifies the crook from mug shots.

The murderer, it seems, has friends in high (or low) places in the underworld, Beaumont (George Raft) and Ackerman (Robert F. Simon). They tell Chris to call off Eddie unless he wants his brother killed. Eddie, being a straight arrow, refuses to cooperate and suffers the consequences. The rest of the movie concerns Chris Kelvaney's quest to avenge his brother while avoiding disgrace from his superiors.

Chris Kelvaney is played by Robert Taylor in an Oscar worthy performance as a man who is, at first, satisfied with himself but who comes to realize what a mess he's made of things. Gradually he becomes disgusted with himself and begins to understand that he needs forgiveness for his past. Taylor is utterly convincing in the role, first as the self-satisfied crook and later as the devastated man looking to make amends by turning informer and closing down Raft's crime empire.

Steve Forrest's role is underwritten but he makes the best of it. Unusually for a gangster film, Rogue Cop has two female characters who actually do something. Janet Leigh is Karen, a former mobster's moll whose escape from the world of crime inspires Chris. There is a wonderful scene where Chris is bullying Karen to get her to help his brother. He grabs her roughly and kisses her. She resists and then gradually responds to the kiss. Leigh's face eloquently portrays the change. Anne Francis plays Beaumont's drunken mistress Nancy. Kelvaney is the only person who treats her kindly when her paramour throws her out. His gentleness is a step on his way to redemption.

Robert Ellenstein is especially good as an honest cop who turns on Kelvaney for his dishonesty then supports him at the end. A wounded and possibly dying Kelvaney asks him for forgiveness but the reply is ambiguous.

Rogue Cop's John F. Seitz was nominated for a best black and white cinematography Oscar for 1954. The movie was based on a novel of the same name by mystery writer and screen writer William P. McGivern.
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Why You'se Damn Dirty Rogue Cop!
verbusen6 October 2005
I caught this on TCM Middle East the other night. First thought was in regard to the opening, my the titles are very sparse and with no soundtrack music it really added to a gritty feel. Then we get to see one hell of a gritty city with a women who looked 50 but was probably in her 30's buying a narcotic from a dealer in the penny arcade (boy I'm lucky enough to have seen one of must be the arcades with penny films in it at Grand Central Station NYC in the 1970's, pretty cool gone by times). So I'm wondering what this womens role is in the film when she slips away after getting her fix, than the dealer gets knifed by a rival dealer. WOW! This is one seedy town! Then the killer drives away but not before the good cop brother stops him because he's overparked by 15 minutes (oh brother!). Cut to the next scene and a detective is walking into the police station and I could have sworn he was the same guy as the killer (of course I'm watching this on a 20" TV so it's probably an easy mistake). Well I wont go on anymore about personal observations other than to say this is a great 1/2 of a movie and Taylor is looking really rogueish and bad, even saying if you cross me again "I'll break both your legs", thats pretty tough talk! But in the second half we get the polished MGM treatment and there is some pretty lame action and a lot of dialog, and Taylor turning a new leaf to be a good cop after all. Two things I noticed that had to be spoofed in the TV show "Police Squad" with Leslie Neilson, the stooly at the newspaper store and the final gunfight where they are shooting in between trash cans and no one is getting hit! Remember "Police Squad"? I was kinda grinning watch this movie thinking about it. Two TV personalities I noticed The Skipper Alan Hale Jr, as a heavy and The guy who was the Sheriff in Bonanza (musta chose him based on his flatfoot character here). Anyway 6/10 because its a crime thriller (which are my favorites next to good war flicks) and Taylor talks the good talk, he just doesn't walk the walk. Damn you'se lousy rogue cop you'se!
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MGM Sanitizes a Crime Drama
dougdoepke1 September 2008
In the law and order 1950's, crooked cops were not exactly a box office item, especially from a studio that prided itself on wholesome entertainment. But head executive Louis B. Mayer had been forced out of MGM in favor of the more current Dore Schary who promised harder- hitting films on subjects more topical than Andy Hardy.

I guess it's easier to shift personnel than it is to change tradition, because this crime drama has neither the look nor the feel of the real thing. In short, the movie's an antiseptic treatment of a seamy subject, and all Robert Taylor's tedious tough talk or George Raft's gangster reputation can't muddy up the sheen.

Note Taylor's impeccable suits, the glamor girls in high-class outfits, the uncluttered studio sets, and especially the high-key lighting that robs the visuals of any hint of ambiguity. Unfortunately, director Roy Rowland brings next to nothing to the project, filming in the most pedestrian style possible. This is a film that cries out for at least something of a noir approach to bring out the menace and moral conflict implicit in the screenplay.

Note too, how many punches are pulled from the final ambulance scene to the redeemed bad girls to the fist-fight with muscular Vince Edwards-- as a matter of fact, the movie could have used more of Edwards' convincing style. Note in particular, how the killing of the two innocents is done off camera, depriving the drama of the kind of visual impact it so clearly needs. Simply nibbling around the edges of evil with an unsmiling ex-matinée idol is not enough.

Too bad a studio like RKO or Warner Bros. of the 40's didn't get hold of the property first. They could have done it up right. MGM may have been great for lavish productions like costume drama and musicals, but crime drama simply did not fit their style. And not even Dore Schary could change that.
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One Cop's Journey into Lawlessness then Pain
Stormy_Autumn7 July 2007
In "Rogue Cop" (1954) Robert Taylor did great.

Dev. Sgt. Chris Kelvaney (Robert Taylor) has a younger brother Eddie (Steve Forrest) who is a street cop. Eddie can identify a murderer he saw run from the scene of the crime.

Big brother Chris, who is "on the take", is contacted by gangster Dan Beaumonte (George Raft, of course) with bribery in mind. He's willing to pay Eddie $15,000 if he changes his testimony. Beaumonte's afraid the murderer (Vince Edwards) knows too much. He might sing and put them all in "Sing-Sing". Dishonest Chris wants him to take it for safety's sake. Eddie isn't his brother so his testimony stands.

Beaumonte has Eddie killed thus waking Chris up to a sad reality. After the death of his brother, Chris swears revenge and starts to track down his brother's killers. He has to get them out in the open and starts laying the groundwork. But Beaumonte wants to stop him and anyone he asks for help. Needless to say that may leave allot of excess bodies lying around...It also may not be as easy as he'd like it to be.

Other cast members include: Janet Leigh as Karen Stephanson (Eddie's fiancée); Anne Francis as Nancy Corlane (Beaumonte's alcoholic ex-girl); Robert Ellenstein as Det. Sidney Y. Myers (Bob does a great job as Chris's partner who is an honest cop); Vince Edwards as murderer Joey Langley (later "Ben Casey" of TV fame 1961-66); Olive Carey as Selma (Chris's connection to snitches) (wife of Harry Sr., mother of Harry Jr. and well-known character actress in her own right.)
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Rogue Cop
Scarecrow-886 July 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Cop-on-the-take Sgt Chris Kelvaney(Robert Taylor)vows to take down the two mob bosses, Dan Beaumonte(George Raft) & Ackerman(Robert F Simon) responsible for the death of his straight-arrow beat cop brother Eddie(Steve Forrest). The drama starts when a lowlife named 'Wrinkles' Fallon(Peter Brocco)kills a man in this gaming place. The man responsible for placing the ID on Fallon was Eddie who would receive a commendation for his work in bringing a killer to justice. But, Fallon is a photographer/blackmailer who captured Beaumonte and Ackerman snuffing someone out and he needs to be freed from jail or they take the fall. Beaumonte puts pressure on Chris to convince Eddie it's best not to keep his story on Fallon legit or else. But, Eddie is an honest product of his pop's raising and will not follow in his crooked brother's footsteps. Chris finds out that Eddie's new squeeze Karen(Janet Leigh)was once a mobster's moll from Florida and tries to convince her to talk sense into him against remaining loyal to keeping Fallon in prison. With Beaumonte and Ackerman squirmy and nervous about being taken down, they bring a foreign hit-man in to put away Eddie. Beaumonte has a lovely alcoholic moll Nancy(Anne Francis)who embarrasses him with her stumbling around and little jokes and cans her out on the street to another gangster for which she opens her mouth about certain things she knows..Beaumonte now sets his sights on wringing her neck as well. Through it all, Chris will go rogue as his own as his superiors will desire his badge and resignation for his being under the mob's payroll, but not before he finds the man responsible for Eddie's death. He plans to not only take out the hit-man, but the two mob bosses as well in a climactic shootout with assistance of good cop Sidney(Robert Ellenstein)who feels resentment from the sergeant for not going the crooked route.

Taylor gets a really juicy role as a crooked cop certainly a bit responsible for his brother's death. He has to face the music when it comes to his activities with the mob and this film puts it to him, but Taylor is good at getting sympathy from the viewer despite his nose-thumbing at being the honest, hard-working cop instead of getting paid, no matter who is forking over the extra salary lining your pockets. George Raft also is quite effective as a real scumbag mobster who says what he means, to the point with little in the way of small talk. Janet Leigh doesn't have to stretch too's her looks this film is aiming for..that and to poke away at Chris' heart. She's the one who he can speak to as the world caves in around him..when both the police and the mob turn their cold shoulders to him. Sure, it's of his own making, but that's what makes the role so juicy for's not black & white at all, but all sorts of shades of grey. The film is ultimately about redemption, setting things straight, and accepting the life you've lived with all the problems that capsize because of it. Anne Francis gets one of her best roles as a moll who genuinely loved her man and seems damned for pushing him too far.
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the next time that someone calls the past "innocent", remind them of what film noirs show
Lee Eisenberg27 April 2018
Warning: Spoilers
One of the most irritating things that I've heard is the occasional claim that the '50s were an innocent, wholesome era. Leaving aside the fact that drooling nostalgia ignores the bad things that happened (and there were lots of those in the '50s), it's mainly a bland characterization of the past. It pushes the idea that there was little to no crime back then. Well, if film noirs are any indication, there was not only crime, but corruption and all manner of sleaze. Movies like "Kiss of Death", "In a Lonely Place" and "The Killing" show some of humanity's basest tendencies. A lesser known one is Roy Rowland's Academy Award-nominated "Rogue Cop". Like many entries in the genre, this depicts gangsters, corrupt cops, and blonde women. While it lacks the sheer grittiness of "Kiss of Death" or "In a Lonely Place" - probably because MGM was the studio that turned out the likes of "The Wizard of Oz", so a crime picture was a bit of a challenge for them - it still packs a punch. I found the most effective scene to be where Janet Leigh's character takes Robert Taylor's character to task for using the case to advance his career. You don't usually expect the elegant Leigh to be that forceful, but it shows her versatility as an actress.

It's not a masterpiece but worth seeing. Aside from Taylor and Leigh, the cast includes George Raft, Anne Francis and Alan Hale Jr. In other words, it stars Marion Crane, Spats, Altaira Morpheus and the Skipper.
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Little men begging for a break.
Spikeopath5 November 2017
Rogue Cop is directed by Roy Rowland and adapted to screenplay by Sydney Boehm from the novel written by William P. McGivern. It stars Robert Taylor, Janet Leigh, George Raft, Steve Forrest and Anne Francis. Music is by Jeff Alexander and cinematography by John F. Seitz.

Christopher Kelvaney (Taylor) is a cop on the take from the mob that's fronted by Dan Beaumont (Raft). When his brother and fellow cop, Eddie (Forrest), is requested to withdraw testimony about a crook covered by Beaumont, Chris is compromised and danger lurks for all involved.

A face wrinkled like Venetian blinds.

Out of MGM, Rogue Cop is a better than average venture into film noir territories. Characters are standard fare for such plottings, but the moral quagmire at Kelvaney's core lifts things considerably. Helps also that Kelvaney is a cop with a quip, the script affording the character some hard boiled edges. With Seitz on photography duties, Rowland is able to fill out the pic with usual noir trappings, where shadows and dim lights exude a doom ambiance.

Stoolies Incorporated.

Scenes are staged in noir funky locations such as a penny arcade (scene of the vicious crime that kicks everything off), a race track and of course shimmering streets, the latter of which plays host to the gun laden finale. Colourful characters such as Francis' (excellent) lush moll and Olive Carey's wise old news stand operator (info for sale) add some side-bar female essence to the moody tale. The ending could have been bolder as per outcome, but it sits OK, and since the story has its share of emotional wallops for some of the players, it ultimately ends up as a comfortable recommendation to noir fans. 7/10
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good performance by Taylor
blanche-224 August 2017
"Rogue Cop" is a 1954 film starring Robert Taylor, George Raft, Janet Leigh, Anne Francis, and Steve Forrest.

People seem surprised Taylor pulls off the tough guy act - I've seen him do it before, and he was good at it.

This is a no-nonsense film about a cop on the take (Taylor) whose honest cop brother (Forrest) can identify someone involved in a murder. The guy who pays off Taylor (Raft) wants him to convince his brother to suddenly not identify him. His brother won't go along with it, making for problems.

I had actually just seen a 1933 Taylor film and what struck me is how many octaves his voice had gone down! Smoking and age will do that.

There isn't anything special about this film. Janet Leigh is beautiful as Forrest's girlfriend with a past, and Anne Francis is Raft's decades-younger alcoholic girlfriend. Both women are fresh- faced and lovely.

No pulling of punches in this movie by Taylor. My mother worshiped the ground he walked on, so I well remember his series, The Detectives. He could be rough and tough with the best of them.
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The weakest of the "Big Heat" trilogy
melvelvit-19 September 2015
Robert Taylor stars as a crooked cop who's caught between a rock and a hard place when racketeer George Raft tells him his idealistic kid brother, rookie Steve Forrest, must recant his testimony in a murder investigation...

Big city police corruption and the Kefauver TV hearings on organized crime were hot-button headline-making issues in the early 1950s and they were inspiration to writer William P. McGivern who turned all the hoopla into a topical roman-à-clef trilogy: THE BIG HEAT, ROGUE COP, and SHIELD FOR MURDER. This one's the weakest of the three thanks to the MGM gloss given to an ageing star's "vehicle" and what could have been hard-hitting and gritty became something of a velvet glove with no iron fist beneath, unfortunately. It was distracting to notice how pristine the inner city streets were and even the lowliest character had a spacious and well-appointed abode. It was nice seeing Vince Edwards in an early role but the stand-out is Anne Francis as Raft's tipsy moll, a "sister under the mink" to Gloria Grahame in THE BIG HEAT. Not bad but it could have been much better as a UA or Columbia B.
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