Jim Burton has become a chronic alcoholic since the death of his young daughter, and is cared for by hard-working wife. A doctor's warning that Jim could become mentally ill strikes enough ... See full summary »
At a wedding party involving three beautiful women, a young man should choose the most charming. But a professor intervenes to prevent the verdict, remembering the troubles caused by Paris in a similar situation.
There is a problem with foreign nationals using Cuba as a convenient jumping off point for illegal entry into the United States. So U.S. Immigration Service Agent Peter Karczag (John Hodiak... See full summary »
An American engineer in London, who is helping to dismantle the London Bridge to be transported to Arizona, strikes up an acquaintance with a young British woman. Several years later he ... See full summary »
Robert Walker Jr.,
Peanuts White, a burlesque comic, is recruited by U.S. agents to impersonate international spy Eric Augustine (whom White resembles) in a mission to purchase a million-dollar microfilm in ... See full summary »
Madeleine Damien is the fashion editor of a slick Manhattan magazine by day and a lively party girl by night. Unfortunately, the pressures of her job, including kowtowing to a hefty ... See full summary »
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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 »
On The Waterfront revisited; no masterpiece, but an alert social commentary
Eclipsed by the accomplishment and reputation of On The Waterfront three years earlier, Slaughter on Tenth Avenue mines a similar vein: corruption in the longshoremen's unions and the violent struggle for their control. And while the earlier movie remains the heavyweight champ , its younger brother can be considered a worthy contender, too. (Its title, by the way, comes from an unrelated George Balanchine ballet of two decades earlier, with music by Richard Rogers retained as the film score.)
While On The Waterfront centered on the lives on the dockworkers embroiled in struggles beyond their control, Slaughter on Tenth Avenue focuses on the Suits who try to prosecute the shooting and later death of one of those workers. Richard Egan plays the young turk in the District Attorney's office who must penetrate the operative code of silence and win the trust of the men working the piers and their families they're scared, and have no reason to put themselves on the line for what they see as a callous bureaucracy with few teeth.
Egan finally wins over the victim's wife (Jan Sterling) and a few of his cronies, but along the way discovers that wheels turn within wheels. A former prosecutor, now some sort of lobbyist, drags him to meet the slick operator who calls the shots on the waterfront (Walter Matthau, before he became the shambliest of straight men), who tries to buy him off. (Fortunately, the movie entertains no theories about the source Communists? Organized crime? of the corruption.) But Egan soldiers on, finally persuading his superiors to bring an indictment despite unreliable witnesses and holes in his case.
And this is the movie's most interesting aspect: How the connections and history linking the police, the district attorney and the legal system (Dan Duryea, with a moustache, is another former prosecutor who lives high as a defense lawyer) compromise whatever justice may ultimately be meted out.
While influenced heavily by the noir cycle that was coming to an end, Slaughter on Tenth Avenue shades more heavily toward social commentary; its upbeat ending, too, is anathema to the pessimism of hard-core noir. Still, its good to see Charles McGraw as a police detective, even if he is sporting a silvery mane of hair.
23 of 25 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this