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The Enforcer  [DVD]
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'If you're smart you'll come down - if you're dumb you'll be dead...' This fast-paced crime/noir thriller is reminiscent of some of Bogart's best films of the 30's. Bogart plays a tough District Attorney who goes after an organized gang of killers, based on the real life 'Murder Inc.' case. Bogart trades bullet for bullet when his chief witness falls mysteriously to his death and is given 24 hours to rebuild his case. "
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Highly recommended to any fan of Bogart and/or crime stories.
This is a good film and should appeal to fans of gangster films and film noir of the period.
The DVD transfer is not brilliant but it doesn't show any major damage.
The Enforcer is based upon the whistle blowing of one Abe Reles. Who opened eyes up to an organised crime mob called Murder Inc. Fusing that period of history with the subsequent Kefauver Committee investigations that followed Reles' reveals, The Enforcer is a tough and gritty picture that many view as the key switch from Noir into the grizzled crime obsessed 1950s. At the time of writing this I have yet to have it confirmed, but it's thought that this Bretaigne Windust directed picture is the first mainstream picture to deal with the complexities of organised crime? Certainly the dialogue is now common speak (courtesy of Martin Rackin (Riffraff (1947), but back in 1951 it surely would have raised eyebrows and intrigued the watching public.
Excellently photographed in stark black and white by Robert Burks, who of course is well known to Hitchcock devotees, the picture positively seeps with an underworld vibe, perhaps even coming into the realms of being documentary in structure. Starring Humphrey Bogart (Ferguson), Everett Sloane (Mendoza) and the excellent, and wonderfully named, Zero Mostel (Big Babe Lazich), it's also thought that Raoul Walsh had quite a hand in the final product. This to my knowledge, is still unconfirmed, but when viewing the picture as a whole, it certainly boasts the feel of Walsh's better known pictures. Highly engrossing and a template movie of sorts, The Enforcer is definitely one to catch if at all possible. 7.5/10
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