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The treacherous world of film noir combines with psychological suspense in a probing, surprising tale rumored to be an uncredited work by blacklisted writer Dalton Trumbo. Barry Sullivan stars, powerfully capturing the flailing crimelord's passage from defiance
to craven desperation. And the cast - including Sheldon Leonard, Akim Tamiroff, Elisha Cook, Jr. and Charles McGraw - is a noir fan's dark dream.
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Top Customer Reviews
No first name.
Unless "Shubunka" is his first name.
Faithful to the Uni-Name spirit, Shubunka's girl friend is played by the actress "Belita".
"Belita" was actually Maria Belita Gladys Olive Lyne Jepson-Turner, born in Nether-Wallop, Hampshire, UK.
She first came to public notice as a thirteen year old figure skater on the 1936 British Olympic Team, before her parents took her to Hollywood.
Blond and blue-eyed, she does not fit my image of a "Belita".
Nevertheless, not a bad actress.
A very talky movie.
The dialogue is a bunch of characters reciting their inner monologues out loud to each other.
Sort of like a film noir written by Eugene O'Neill.
Bizarre and pretentious, but always interesting.
Released on a DVD-R from Warner Archive Collection.
I watched it on Turner Classic Movies, where it had English subtitles, and a helpful introduction by film noir expert Eddie Mueller.
Based on my experience, Warner Archive Collection DVD-Rs do NOT have subtitles.
No extras either.
Still a fun movie.
Shubunka is in charge of "the rackets" on Neptune Beach in New York City. He makes good money, but he's blown it all on a girl he's infatuated with, night club performer Nancy Starr (Belita). His nervous partner is Nick Jammey, the owner of an ice cream parlor down on the beach. The cast in the ice cream parlor could be a movie all on its own. You have Harry Morgan as a 38 year old soda jerk who wants to get laid in the worst way but has the pedestrian lady's man skills of a 14 year old boy, you have an accountant (John Ireland as Frank Karty) who hangs out in the ice cream parlor hiding from his brothers-in-law. You see, he was in charge of their auto repair shop's books and stole 1300 dollars from them so he could gamble on the horses - ironically one of Shubunka's rackets. His in-laws intend to keep beating him up until he returns the money, and he can't go to the police because, after all, he's the embezzler! The young cashier (Joan Lorring as Dorothy) doesn't say much until the end, and I'll get to that later. Nick Jammey, the owner of the parlor and Shubunka's partner, is the loving husband of a hypochondriac wife and a real tower of jello.Read more ›
Rumor has it this film was partially ghost-scripted by Dalton Trumbo. He'd been blacklisted earlier that same year (along with nine other writers and directors) by the House Un-American Activities Committee for refusing to testify. (Trumbo was indeed a member of the American Communist Party.)
Shubunka (Sullivan) is a small time hood who's risen to the top of the Brooklyn rackets while paying a terrible emotional price to do so. Paranoiacally untrusting of everyone, Shubunka takes a chance on a relationship with the starstruck Nancy Starr (Belita). His nerves shot from worrying about underlings that want to topple his little crime empire and with a beautiful mistress inflaming his jealousy, Shubunka is primed for a hard fall. Excellent film-noirish cinematography and a solid cast make this early ALLIED ARTISTS picture quite memorable.
Barry Sullivan was a cast member of Vincente Minnelli's THE BAD AND THE BEAUTIFUL (1952). (VHS edition) (DVD edition)
Parenthetical number preceding title is a 1 to 10 IMDb viewer poll rating.
(6.6) The Gangster (1947) - Barry Sullivan/Belita/Joan Lorring/Akim Tamiroff/Harry Morgan/John Ireland/Sheldon Leonard/Fifi D'Orsay/Elisha Cook Jr. (uncredited: Jeff Corey/Don Haggerty/Billy Gray)
Most Recent Customer Reviews
saw this pix back in the 90s ..never fotgot it ..looked for it quite a while thanxPublished 23 months ago by dale hall
"The Gangster" is a 1947 black and white nourish crime drama with an incredible cast of well-known character actors. Read morePublished on May 4, 2013 by Dr. James Gardner
Relatively unseen by most noir-philes, THE GANGSTER made a star of Barry Sullivan who plays the title role and controls gambling, protection and vice in the Brighton Beach area of... Read morePublished on October 11, 2012 by Dr. Ronald Schwartz
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