6.2/10
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5 user 8 critic

The Purple Gang (1959)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama | 5 January 1960 (USA)
The story of the infamous Purple Gang, a ring of bootleggers, hijackers and killers in 1920s' Detroit.

Director:

Frank McDonald

Writer:

Jack DeWitt
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Barry Sullivan ... Police Lt. William P. Harley
Robert Blake ... William Joseph 'Honeyboy' Willard
Elaine Edwards ... Gladys Harley
Marc Cavell ... Henry Abel 'Hank' Smith
Jody Lawrance ... Joan MacNamara
Suzanne Ridgway ... Daisy (as Suzy Marquette)
Joe Turkel ... Eddie Olsen (as Joseph Turkel)
Victor Creatore Victor Creatore ... Al Olsen
Paul Dubov Paul Dubov ... Thomas Allen 'Killer' Burke
Ray Boyle ... Tom Olsen (as Dirk London)
Kathleen Lockhart ... Nun
Nestor Paiva ... Laurence Orlofsky
Lou Krugman Lou Krugman ... Dr. Riordan
Robert Anderson ... Police Commissioner
Mauritz Hugo ... Licovetti
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Storyline

A teen-age rat pack of the Detroit slums, the Purple Gang, headed by psychotic William Joseph "Honeyboy" Willard, teams with adult hijackers during prohibition and in three years controls the city's underworld. Detective Bill Harley is given a special assignment to break the gang. To intimidate Harley, Honeyboy and his chief henchman, Hank Smith, terrorize his pregnant wife, Gladys, who loses her baby and dies. The gang moves in on the cleaning and dyeing industry, which calls in the Mafia for protection. Hank tries to tip off Harley as to where the Mafia hoods are holed up but Honeyboy, mistaking his intentions, has Killer Burke seal him alive in a coffin and drop him in the Detroit river. Honeyboy locates the Mafia headquarters in an apartment building and goes there with two of his men. They break in and machine-gun the three Mafia leaders, Licovetti, Ricco and Castiglione. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

THE MURDER MACHINE THAT MATCHED AL CAPONE! (original print ad - all caps) See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 January 1960 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Die Ratten von Detroit See more »

Filming Locations:

Detroit, Michigan, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The real Purple Gang was made up of mostly Jewish members. The script of this film gave the members non-Jewish names. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Allied Artists says it all...
21 May 2012 | by BigG-2See all my reviews

Cheapo production. This is supposed to be the 1920s, but there is no attempt to use costumes or hair styles of that era. The men all wear 1950s hats. Robert Blake plays tough as the juvenile gang leader. Barry Sullivan walks through his part as the detective as though he wanted to be somewhere else. His wife,of course, wants him to quit. The gang looks like a Central Casting call for B-list juveniles. As clean and nice looking a bunch of hoodlums as can be imagined. If they could dance they would be ready for West Side Story. The sets are unadorned and look like they were assembled in somebody's garage. There is a lot of unconvincing gunplay and actors falling to the floor, but no blood.


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