Johnny Damico botches a murder case and is suspended from the force. In reality, he is put undercover to identify the mysterious boss of the NY waterfront who has murdered everyone in his way. Will Johnny be next in line?
Jerry McKibbon is a tough, no nonsense reporter, mentoring special prosecutor John Conroy in routing out corrupt officials in the city, which may even include Conroy's own police detective father as a suspect.
This movie is based on a true story as written in A.P. Scotland's autobiography "The London Cage". The plot has greatly exaggerated the actual events of A.P. Scotland's experiences, including the addition of a fictional love interest.
Police detective Damico, outwitted by mob killer Blackie Clay, is nominally suspended; actually he goes undercover (as Tim Flynn, ex-con longshoreman) to find Clay and expose the waterfront rackets. In character, Damico throws his weight around so much that the mobsters try to get rid of him; surviving this, he begins to realize that few of those around him are what they seem.Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
In scenes set in a pawn shop and an all-night diner (apparently shot in interiors on standing street sets), actors' frosty breath can be seen even though they're supposed to be inside real businesses that would presumably have been heated. See more »
Tough Crime Movie with Dialogue Reminiscent of the Star's Real Mother
Broderick Crawford plays a cop in this excellent crime drama. (I wouldn't call it a film noir but I'd say it got to the location of "On the Waterfront" first. And, in my very humble opinion, pulled together a better story.) The dialogue has a snappy edge that isn't found much in gangster movies of this period. The guys -- and it's mostly all guys here -- have a sarcastic way of communicating. They talk like athletes or construction workers. I've been both and I know. A lot of calling each other cheerleaders and other ways of joking about their masculinity. But it's done in a good-natured, blue collar. There is no hint of anti-gay sentiment.
Broderick Crawford generally seems so different from his mother it's hard to imagine they were related in that way. But here we pick up his casually comic timing.
Crawford is excellent as a policeman who goes undercover on the docks. Richard Kiley shines as one of the guys -- giving nothing away, here -- he deals with. And Matt Crowley is fine as another. (I checked on him and he played Walter Burns in a TV version of "The Front Page in 1945. Wow! I didn't know there WAS TV in 1945.) The actress playing Crawford's girlfriend isn't bad. She plays a nurse and she seems wholesome. Wholesome and dull. She seems to have few film credits.
This has an authentic feel. And it's different, too. It's definitely a keeper.
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