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The Garment Jungle: Black & White (1957)

Lee J. Cobb , Kerwin Mathews , Robert Aldrich , Vincent Sherman  |  NR |  DVD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Lee J. Cobb, Kerwin Mathews, Gia Scala, Richard Boone, Valerie French
  • Directors: Robert Aldrich, Vincent Sherman
  • Writers: Harry Kleiner, Lester Velie
  • Producers: Harry Kleiner
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Color, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: September 23, 2008
  • Run Time: 88 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #83,463 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Garment Jungle: Black & White" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

On the mean streets of the garment district in New York City, Alan Mitchell (Kerwin Mathews) discovers that the dress business owned by his father (Lee J. Cobb) is being controlled by the mob. Alan must join forces with rebellious labor union leaders in order to save his family's company from thugs. Starring Oscar nominee Lee J. Cobb (1954, Best Supporting Actor, On the Waterfront) and Robert Loggia (Big), and directed by Vincent Sherman, The Garment Jungle is fast-paced film noir set in the cutthroat world of fashion.

Stills from The Garment Jungle (Click for larger image)

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
"The Garment Jungle" is a social conscience film inspired by a series of articles that Leslie Velie wrote for Readers' Digest entitled "Gangsters in the Dress Business", intended as an exposé of New York's garment industry. Alan Mitchell (Kerwin Matthews) comes home to New York from 3 years of military service to join the family business, Roxton Fashions, a dress manufacturer founded by his father Walter (Lee J. Cobb). As Alan learns the ropes, he learns of the suspicious death of his father's business partner and the vicious tactics employed to keep the Dress Makers' Union out of his shop. Walter Mitchell has been paying protection money to a gangster named Artie Ravidge (Richard Boone), and tensions between union organizers and Ravidge's thugs have turned murderous.

This unabashedly pro-union movie reminds me of films of the 1930s. Made in 1957, it anticipates the revival of "social justice" filmmaking that would again become popular in the 1960s. "The Garment Jungle" has an appealing complexity in spite of somewhat dated themes. The smart writing by Harry Kleiner and the sharp casting ages well. Beyond the workers' rights agenda, it aims to deglamorize the fashion industry by taking the audience behind the scenes with models, buyers, workers, and shop owners. It's not entirely uncritical of the union. Walter is a sympathetic man, willfully turning a blind eye to Ravidge's methods, because he is committed to protecting the business that he created. He's caught between two extortionists: the union and the protection racket. The union must get the non-union shops to fall in line, or they will lose the support of the Manufacturer's Union.

Tulio Renata (Robert Loggia) is a union organizer committed to improving conditions for his fellow workers, even at his own peril.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Punchy film noir November 8, 2009
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Though film noir is often thought of as a style for thrillers, there are also those films which are concerned with the corruption of business: a prime example would be Jules Dassin's THIEVES HIGHWAY. THE GARMENT JUNGLE is another example, though it's not quite as explosive as the intention seems to be. Perhaps that may be due to the fact that there were several directors involved in the project (Robert Aldrich began the project but was taken off early on). Taking the corruption in New York City's garment industry as the basis for the plot, THE GARMENT JUNGLE has some very sharp scenes, Lee J. Cobb in another of his patented evil-boss performances, and sturdy production values. It's well worth a look, even if it's not in the upper range of film noirs.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An engrossing expose of the rag trade June 10, 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The Garment Jungle is unusually down and dirty for its era. A gripping story with a fine cast; Richard Boone is fabulous, and so very natural, as the sweaty and brutal master strike-breaker. Good use is made of the contrast between the elegant world of couture as seen on the surface and its sleezy, competetive underside.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hard-Hitting 1950's Expose' November 7, 2012
By Maximo
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Someone dies in a rigged elevator crash in the first 5 minutes. That's just the beginning of the gangster violence in this pro-labor union movie. It storyline may not be the epitome of realism (it's hard to believe the garment factory owner can carry on so efficiently but be so naive about the protection thugs he has hired), but the fast-paced plot certainly entertains throughout. The story skirts a few Hayes Code taboos, such as the main character living unmarried with a fashion model, and a pair of homosexual hitmen. The violence is graphic --- from speakers at a union meeting being whipped with tire chains to the chief union organizer being knifed in the abdomen and running down the street, shirt bloodied, before collapsing dead in the gutter. There are also disturbing threats made to the murdered organizer's wife that her infant child will have its legs amputated by gangster butchers if she goes to the DA to testify. But have no fear --- all comes out right, as it must in 1950s movies, at the end. Excellent cast includes Lee J Cobb (and coincidentally the movie feels a lot like On The Waterfront); Richard Boone as the head goon; Robert Loggia as the ill-fated union advocate; Gia Scala as his wife/widow; Jospeh Wiseman as a cowardly comrade of Loggia; and Wesley Addy and Adam Williams as the flamboyantly gay killers. Amazing how a 1957 film could be so raw!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Garment Jungle September 24, 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
A solid film noir film about the gangster influence on the garment industry in New York. A fine performance by Lee J. Cobb as the head of a garment manufacturing company trying to keep the union out of his company.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Unionbusting in NYC's garment district November 29, 2010
Format:VHS Tape
As with all of the GOODTIMES co. videotapes, this one is recorded in LP mode and doesn't have HiFi audio, just a linear track. (One star subtracted for sub-standard dub.)

A solid cast is featured in the powerful racket genre film, THE GARMENT JUNGLE.

SYNOPSIS-- Lee J. Cobb runs a dress manufacturing company. As the story begins, Cobb's pro-union partner "accidentally" falls to his death. A gangster (played by Richard Boone) is brought on board to try and prevent workers from organizing a union. Cobb's son (Kerwin Mathews) sees the deplorable "sweat shop" conditions of his father's business and befriends a union boss (Robert Loggia). When this man is brutally murdered, Cobb tries to distance himself from hired thug Boone, which leads to severe consequences.

TOUCH OF EVIL (with Charlton Heston, Janet Leigh and Orson Welles) is one of the best examples of late-50s film noir.

Parenthetical number preceding title is a 1 to 10 imdb viewer poll rating.

(6.5) The Garment Jungle (1957) - Lee J. Cobb/Kerwin Mathews/Gia Scala/Richard Boone/Valerie French/Robert Loggia/Joseph Wiseman/Harold J. Stone
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars GOOD IMAGE. GOOD MOVIE.
This is a cheaper variation of ON THE WATERFRONT. The cast is solid and the story has enough anxious moments to make it a good ride.
Published 10 months ago by Mark Mcgee
4.0 out of 5 stars THE GARMENT JUNGLE
Made in the 1950's..this is pure 50's Classic about the crime in New York & the garment industrial world.I was about 16 when I first seen this movie. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Bronson McQueen
2.0 out of 5 stars more leaden than the bullets in the guns
Good premise for a noir, but missed opportunity. Undramatic, boringly written and shot, despite the talented people involved. Not even fun enough to be enjoyed as corny. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Ira J. Sitomer
5.0 out of 5 stars The Garment Jungle
This is a great Crime/Film Noir movie starring; Lee J. Cobb, Kerwin Mathews, Gia Scala and Richard Boone. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Rick Lane
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie!
If you are a labor movement fan or just a fan of this kind of drama, you'll enjoy this movie. Set in New York's garment district post Korean Conflict, the setting and story are... Read more
Published 23 months ago by sewgirlseattle
3.0 out of 5 stars A Story of the Garment Business
The Garment Jungle, 1957 film

This story begins with a view of New York city from the west. Read more
Published on February 29, 2012 by Ray Stephanson
4.0 out of 5 stars Unionbusting in NYC's garment district
A solid cast is featured in the powerful racket genre film, THE GARMENT JUNGLE.

SYNOPSIS-- Lee J. Cobb runs a dress manufacturing company. Read more
Published on August 14, 2008 by Annie Van Auken
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