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Slaughter on 10th Avenue (1957)

Passed | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 1 September 1957 (USA)
A brave longshoreman lingers on after being gunned down by 3 racketeers, as a determined assistant D.A. searches hard for fearful witnesses against the men.


Arnold Laven


Lawrence Roman (screenplay), William J. Keating (book) | 1 more credit »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Egan ... William Keating
Jan Sterling ... Madge Pitts
Dan Duryea ... John Jacob Masters
Julie Adams ... Dee Pauley
Walter Matthau ... Al Dahlke
Charles McGraw ... Lt. Anthony Vosnick
Sam Levene ... Howard Rysdale
Mickey Shaughnessy ... Solly Pitts
Harry Bellaver ... Benjy Karp
Nick Dennis ... Midget
Joe Downing Joe Downing ... Eddie 'Cockeye' Cook
Ned Wever Ned Wever ... Captain Sid Wallace
Billy M. Greene ... Monk Mohler
John McNamara John McNamara ... Judge Craiger
Amzie Strickland ... Mrs. Cavanagh


Three men gun down Solly Pitts, 'rebel' against the racket-ridden Longshoremen's Union. Before dying, Pitts tells his wife 'Cockeye' Cook was one of the killers...but won't repeat it to the police, nor will anyone else help them. It seems it's a dockyard tradition to handle private battles without help. Bill Keating, new to the D.A.'s office, is just naive enough to think he can make a case against Cook; but his efforts seem to be leading only to further violence... Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


More Tense Action On The Waterfront! (original poster) See more »


Crime | Drama | Film-Noir


Passed | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Len Lesser appears in an uncredited role as Sam. He is arguably best known as "Uncle Leo" from Seinfeld (1989). See more »


Even though the story takes place in December and January in New York City, the sun is always shining, all the principals are dressed in lightweight clothing, and there is no sign of snow or winter conditions anywhere. See more »


Referenced in Love & War: Slaughter on Tenth Avenue (1994) See more »


Slaughter on Tenth Avenue
Music by Richard Rodgers
Arranged by Herschel Burke Gilbert
[Played over title card and opening credits, and leading into the End card and end credits; musical riffs from the piece are heard throughout the movie]
See more »

User Reviews

Trouble still on the waterfront
3 May 2013 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Richard Rodgers famous ballet number from On Your Toes serves as the title and the background music for Slaughter On Tenth Avenue, a tale of the New York waterfronts. The twin paradigm about the waterfront is observed in this film as in On The Waterfront, that it is systemically corrupt and the men there settle their own problems.

That's what young prosecutor Richard Egan and homicide cop Charles McGraw face when they try to build a case against three of union boss Walter Matthau's hired thugs. They shot honest pier boss Mickey Shaughnessy in the hallway of his Tenth Avenue apartment building and Shaughnessy's friend Harry Bellaver saw them leave. And while dying, Shaughnessy names his killers to his wife Jan Sterling.

The dockworkers have a Code of Silence, toughest there is and it isn't easy for Egan and McGraw. In fact DA Sam Levene is not sure there's enough to go on. Especially since neophyte prosecutor Egan will be facing top mob lawyer Dan Duryea. And Egan is also planning to get married to Julie Adams.

Slaughter On Tenth Avneue is a competently made and well paced noir film. The comparisons between this and On The Waterfront are too obvious to be ignored. Egan is no Marlon Brando, but I think he would have been the first to admit that. To the dockworkers he comes across as a white shoe lawyer, but Egan worked his way up from the Pennsylvania coal mines where his people were all unionized mine workers.

One thing that distinguishes this from other noir films is that our protagonist Egan is in fact an unambiguous hero unusual for a noir film. There's no real blending of the good and bad, the cast which is well made and gives good performances across the board falls one way or the other as well.

The scene shifts from the court to the docks in the last 20 minutes or so and the climax is really taken right out of On The Waterfront. Slaughter On Tenth Avenue is still a fine bit film making that does credit to the cast and those behind the camera.

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Release Date:

1 September 1957 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Man Who Rocked the Boat See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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