6.5/10
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15 user 5 critic

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:

A bomb-blast!! What happens when kids get their hands on dope! 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

Feature film debut for director Irvin Kershner. 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

Needle In A Stack
(uncredited)
Composed by Richard Markowitz
Performed by Hollywood Chamber Jazz Group conducted by Richard Markowitz
See more »

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User Reviews

Spotty, At Best
30 November 2013 | by dougdoepkeSee all my reviews

Three aimless young men find a briefcase containing a load of valuable heroin. So what are they going to do with it. Desperate, they end up trying to sell it through an ex-junkie. The trouble is the mob wants their heroin back and are on the trail of the kids. And so are the cops.

Given the potentially explosive material, the 90-minutes comes across as peculiarly lacking in drama. The motions are there, but not the felt impact. Much, I think, has to do with the quality of the performances. Of the three boys, Marlo manages some grit as Nick. However, Wexler and Haze (yes, that Haze) appear to flounder in stand-around bland fashion. Plus, poor Abby Dalton looks completely lost. Thus, the movie's core is compromised at the outset. Then too, the cops are a particularly colorless bunch, adding nothing to the impact. Kramer, at least, looks the part of a washed-up ex- junkie, getting the big dramatic turn of painful drug withdrawal, where he writhes in expressive fashion. It's a scary public warning.

Then again, I didn't know whether to laugh or cry at the movie's high point. Namely, where the boys thrash through a real city dump looking for the heroin as a dozer keeps piling the trash higher. Talk about needles in a haystack, or climbing a mountain that keeps getting higher. One thing for sure, I've seen nothing like it before or since. Anyway, the direction (Kershner) is pretty spotty. There are some nice touches like the crashing bowling ball and bouncing pinball punctuating the two beatings, plus the cascade of heroin down the tank's side. Clearly, however, Kershner is more adept at staging than either coaching actors or building suspense. Even the imaginatively staged showdown doesn't generate the suspense it should. One big positive is the staging throughout. Real locations are used, lending a good glimpse of LA, circa 1958. Too bad the movie as a whole never quite gels, despite the promising premise.


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