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Vice Squad (1953)

Edward G. Robinson , Paulette Goddard , Arnold Laven  |  NR |  DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Edward G. Robinson, Paulette Goddard, K.T. Stevens
  • Directors: Arnold Laven
  • Writers: Lawrence Roman, Leslie T. White
  • Producers: Arthur Gardner, Jules V. Levy, Sol Lesser
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: MGM
  • DVD Release Date: October 8, 2011
  • Run Time: 88 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #383,641 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

The life of a captain of detectives during the course of an ordinary day.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
It was 1953 when Edward G. Robinson, known for his gangster roles in "Little Caesar", "Key Largo" and star of hit films such as "Double Indemnity", "The Stranger" and "The Ten Commandments" would appear in a detective film known as "Vice Squad".

The film is a film adaptation of Leslie T. White's "Harness Bull" and was directed by Arnold Laven ("The Rifleman", "The Big Valley", "Geronimo") and written by Lawrence Roman ("A Kiss Before Dying", "Under the Yum Yum Tree".

Along with Robinson, the film would also feature actress Paulette Goddard, actress and Chaplin muse who starred in films such as "Modern Times", "The Great Dictator", "Second Chorus", "Pot o' Gold".

The police drama follows the day in the life of Capt. Barnaby (played by Edward G. Robinson) and is shot almost in a docudrama style.

The film begins with two thieves known as Barkis & Monty are trying to break into a car, meanwhile at a building nearby, a well-respected funeral director named Jack Hartrampf (played by Porter Hall) is having a fun time (and having an affair) with a woman named Vicki Webb (played by Joan Vohs). As he tries to leave the area without anyone seeing him, he sees a police officer Kellogg trying to arrest one of the car thieves, while one of them is hiding. The hiding thief shoots the police officer and the thieves leave with the stolen car.

As Kellogg screams for help, Jack comes to his aid and other police officers show up and see him next to the officer and arrest him.

The film then shifts to a police precinct as Capt. Barnaby comes to the office hearing that one of his officers is in the hospital and fighting for his life and we see how operations are going on at the office. Throughout the day, we see see Capt.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good Film Noir! January 18, 2014
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Vice Squad is among the better 1950's film noir movies because of the performances and, particularly, Hershel Burke Gilbert's dramatic music score. Spaghetti western fans will recognize Lee Van Cleef (Angel Eyes, Colonel Douglas Mortimer), who was still playing "second bad guy from the left" roles in the 50's.

Burke's score alternates between a heroic police motif and a "criminal" theme that borders on outright vindictiveness--appropriate for the bank robbing gang that dominates the subplots. The score later turned up in episodes of "The Rifleman", for which Gilbert wrote the theme and underscore.

This film's script and plot are refreshingly less predictable than most in this genre. Worth owning for old film buffs!
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3.0 out of 5 stars humerous drama April 21, 2013
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This film noir has plenty of action and humor and shows off Edward G Robinson at his dramatic best in one busy day in the life of a police captain.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Crime vs. Police: Vice Squad is excellent! September 10, 2012
Vice Squad is a police story with multiple storylines happening at once, all revolving around Captain Edward G. Robinson. The bad guys are planning a bank heist, but they won't let the police get in their way! Needless to say, Robinson is the man for the job. He's one step ahead of the crooks, the lawyers and the rest! It's easy to see how this film inspired a carload of TV shows in the same vein. It's excellent and you will not be disappointed.

Note: The DVD product is not being reviewed, simply the film. The Vice Squad speaks not of DVD, therefore we will not be bothered by it. Look Out!!!

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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars grade b look at crime is ok April 3, 2012
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It's interesting to look at once popular stars who for whatever reason fell out
of popularity and are put into lesser work and at times out of character. Edward g robinson and paulette goodard stars from the 30's were out of sync by the early 50's and couldnt find work,or good work,and Paulette was soon out of movies for good an actress who for whatever reason was up for the big part but never received it, but she did made decent films over the years. Robinson very often in the 50's was given roles trying to recreate his persona and the feeling for the 30's warner films like hellon on frisco bay(1956) and illegal(1955) but these were films looking backward and the greater stars moved onto other work and more modern type films and better pay,but they are entertaining. Here he is playing against type as a captain of police,showing the ins and outs and means he uses to get by the day solving a policeman's murder,a bank holdup,
hostage case,a count accused of a crime nowhere in the city,...and really showing how he solves each of these issues and tries to run a station. 1950's look at the workings of a police station...low budgeter during a quiet time in Robinson's career.
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