The Underworld Story
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ancestral witch burnings. Intentionally or not, the line underscores the imminent blacklisting of The Underworld Story's costar Howard da Silva plus the director and the screenwriter. The intriguing story is by Craig Rice, the famed female mystery writer of the 1940s and '50s who was the cover-story subject of Time's January 28, 1946 issue.
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Top Customer Reviews
Dan Duryea, as usual, is interesting as "Mike Reese," a bad guy-turned-good guy journalist. He is joined in the cast by Herbert Marshall, Gale Storm (one of the great names in show business and who will forever be "My Little Margie" to those of us who were around in the '50s), Howard Da Silva and Michael O'Shea.
Of the above-mentioned, Da Silva was the most fascinating, as the brutal mob boss "Carl Durham." He only had a minor role, but some of his lines were outstanding and his role was memorable. Da Silva was a great actor for film noirs. This isn't really a noir, but it's close. Marshall was just fine as the newspaper owner.
The film was not kind to the newspaper business, so some media-minded national film critics (who probably had columns in daily papers) didn't like this film for that reason. Nonetheless, it's a powerful film and well-acted. Too bad it's never been offered on DVD.
Cy Endfield directed the film shortly before he was blacklisted as a result of the work of the House Un-American Activities Committee. Howard Da Silva, who played the gangster in the film was blacklisted as well. Much of the film seems to predict the anti-communist "witch-hunting" that would soon lead to the blacklisting. The movie discusses the power of masses and of the press, for good and for ill. The film is based on a story by Craig Rice, a pseudonym for an early woman writer of mysteries, Georgiana Ann Randolph Craig (1908 -- 1957).
The film stars Dan Duryea as an ambitious and seemingly unprincipled reporter, Mike Reese. He gets fired from his big city job and connives his way to purchase a share of a struggling small New England newspaper, owned by Catherine Harris (Gale Storm). When the daughter-in-law of a powerful newspaper is murdered, Reese, ever on the alert for the main chance, tries to rescue the small paper's failing fortunes by sensationalistic reporting. An African-American woman, the maid of the murder victim, is falsely accused of the murder.Read more ›
Mike Reese (Duryea) is blacklisted for this and his supposed connection to a mob boss. When he can't find another job Reese buys a half-interest in a small New England paper by getting the cash from gambling kingpin Carl Durham (da Silva)-- the very man he was wrongly accused of associating with. Reese then tries to profit from the murder of a newpaper magnate's daughter.
As of 2/09, "Underworld Story" was not available on DVD.
Richard Widmark plays one of his "patented" gangster types in the shadowy true crime drama, THE STREET WITH NO NAME (1950). (VHS edition) (DVD edition)
Parenthetical number preceding title is a 1 to 10 viewer poll rating found at a film resource website.
(6.9) The Underworld Story (1950) - Dan Duryea/Herbert Marshall/Gale Storm/Howard Da Silva/Michael O'Shea/Alan Hale Jr. (uncredited: Ned Glass)
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If you like old movies this one is tops. Great actor and great story. Get Yours TodayPublished 22 months ago by Commando Big
THE UNDERWORLD STORY(1950) Directed by Cy Endfield. Script by Henry Blankfort.
Starring Dan Duryea, Herbert Marshall, Gale Storm, Howard Da Silva, Michael O'Shea,... Read more
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