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Stakeout on Dope Street (1958)

Three teenagers find a briefcase with a beat-up old can in it. They throw away the can and pawn the suitcase. When they read in the papers that the can was full of uncut heroin and belonged... See full summary »

Director:

Irvin Kershner

Writers:

Andrew J. Fenady (screenplay), Andrew J. Fenady (story) | 4 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Yale Wexler Yale Wexler ... Jim Bowers
Jonathan Haze ... Julian 'Ves' Vespucci (as Jonathon Haze)
Steven Marlo ... Nick Raymond (as Morris Miller)
Abby Dalton ... Kathy
Allen Kramer Allen Kramer ... Danny
Herman Rudin Herman Rudin ... Mitch Swardurski
Philip Mansour Philip Mansour ... Lenny Potter (as Phillip Mansour)
Frank Harding Frank Harding ... Capt. Richard R. Allen
William Shaw William Shaw ... Chuck (as Bill Shaw)
Andrew J. Fenady Andrew J. Fenady ... Stan (as A.J. Fenady)
Slate Harlow Slate Harlow ... Officer Lynn Donahue
Herschel Bernardi ... Mr. Fennel
Carol Nelson Carol Nelson ... Nick's girl
Edward Schaaf Edward Schaaf ... Samuel Alber (as Ed Schaff)
Matt Resnick Matt Resnick ... Sgt. Fred Matthews
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Storyline

Three teenagers find a briefcase with a beat-up old can in it. They throw away the can and pawn the suitcase. When they read in the papers that the can was full of uncut heroin and belonged to a drug dealer who killed two narcotics agents in a shootout, they go back to look for the can, find it, and decide to go into the heroin selling business. However, the drug dealer's gang also wants the heroin, finds out the boys have it, and sets out to hunt them down and get back their dope. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Screen's First Blazing Story of Kids Who Go Rumbling Down Dope Street! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 May 1958 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

De straat der verdoving See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$35,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was financed by Roger Corman who was executive producer. He provided $15,000 of the budget.

Corman later recalled: "My brother told me that it was the greatest mistake of my career because on account of that success I reinvested my money in other productions that were all failures. I gave great freedom to the writers, since I myself do not like when people tell me what to do when I'm filming. I never said a word to Irvin Kershner. We would meet and have long talks in which everyone offered his point of view, and I would approve the cast and the distribution (Jonathan Haze, Abby Dalton, and some of my actors would be there), but once the decision was made, I would say, 'Go for it', and I would pull back. This was hugely successful." See more »

Quotes

Officer Lynn Donahue: Nick and Ves had passed the earlier part of the afternoon looking at clothes, sporting equipment, bongo drums, and other racy items for kids their age.
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Soundtracks

Stakeout
Composed by Richard Markowitz
Performed by Hollywood Chamber Jazz Group conducted by Richard Markowitz
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User Reviews

 
Gritty, superb first film by a very fine director
13 November 2007 | by HandlinghandelSee all my reviews

Irvin Kershner has directed some excellent, some famous, movies. This one was his first. It certainly isn't famous but it is indeed excellent.

It's about three young men who find a briefcase that contains, hidden among cosmetics, a can of heroin. The guys reminded me of characters from "West Side Story," though they are more middle-class. They kind of hang out, kind of have jobs. One kind of has a girlfriend. (She is played by Abby Dalton, the only name in the cast list I'd ever heard, and I'm not sure where I heard it.) That girlfriend notwithstanding, one of them has also drawn a head and unclothed torso of one of the others. This drawing is shown throughout the film.

Though it's a sensationalistic film, it is not pro-drug. I am going to risk some brickbats but I never liked "Easy Rider." And I'm a baby boomer. Yes, I liked Jack Nicholson but the whole stoned thing: No, not for me.

This little film has a jazz score. It plays out for us like a poem. It reminds me of Allen Ginsburg. It's smart, it's hip. It's everything a movie ought to be. And, I'd guess, it accomplishes this on a pretty low budget.

The movie has a Police Gazette type title. And it may have played at drive-ins. But make no mistake: This is real art.


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