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The Pusher (1960)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama | February 1960 (USA)
A detective investigating the murder of a heroin addict discovers that there is a connection between the junkie and his fiance, who is his boss' daughter.


Gene Milford


Evan Hunter (novel) (as Ed McBain), Harold Robbins

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Credited cast:
Kathy Carlyle Kathy Carlyle ... Laura
Robert Lansing ... Steve Carella
Felice Orlandi ... The Pusher
Douglas Rodgers Douglas Rodgers ... Lt. Peter Byrne
Sloan Simpson Sloan Simpson ... Harriet Byrne
Sara Amman Sara Amman ... María Hernández
Jim Boles Jim Boles ... Newspaper Vendor
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
John Astin ... Detective
Eli Boraks Eli Boraks ... Gang member / dancer


A detective investigating the murder of a heroin addict discovers that there is a connection between the junkie and his fiance, who is his boss' daughter.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

drugs | based on novel | See All (2) »


SEE girls corrupted by "joy dust"! See more »


Crime | Drama


Not Rated | See all certifications »






Release Date:

February 1960 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La garra del vicio See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

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Did You Know?


Film debut of John Astin. See more »


Featured in Classroom Scare Films Vol. 5: More Drug Evils (1997) See more »

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User Reviews

Realistic Drug Film
13 February 2017 | by FalconeerSee all my reviews

Another reviewer complained that this wonderful, moody and atmospheric film about heroin addiction was too "dreary.." I have to laugh at some of the comments I read here. New York City, circa 1958; a heroin kingpin sets up shop, and sets himself up in a posh penthouse apartment on Riverside Drive. His customers are mostly kids, many of them Puerto Rican immigrants looking to find their place in a new city, and they get hooked on the smack that Mario supplies them. Things start to get out of control when a Police Lieutenant's daughter gets hooked, while working at a shady nightclub in Midtown. The pusher himself, played by Felice Orlandi, is suitably sleazy and heartless, as he feeds off of the young people in the area, making himself rich while destroying their lives in the process. This film is remarkably realistic in it's depiction of both the business aspect and the addiction aspect of the drug culture. Beautifully filmed in shadowy, stark black and white, with New York City on display in all it's old time glory. Of course it's "dreary," and seedy, and downbeat. This title is very rare and i imagine a copy must be a real collectors item. It reminded me of the New York beat/jazz scene described in Kerouac's "On the Road," so much so, that I half expected William Burroughs to appear in one of those seedy Times Square bars shown in this film. This is a wonderful, lost movie that should be easier to find. Similar to "Hatful of Rain," another early 60's NYC heroin movie, although this one is better. "The Pusher" would make a great double feature with "Who Killed Teddy Bear," which is another 1960's study of the seedy underbelly of New York's times Square scene. A lost gem...

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