Excellent crime movie that takes place in Boston. It follows the relationship between a cop and a habitual criminal. It spans the years from the crooks early teens to adulthood.
It starts in 1933 with Jerry Florea (Sal Mineo) and his neighborhood gang of young teens and their antics. Things get serious when rookie cop Ed Gallagher (George Nader) goes after a thief who broke into a jewelry store. The thief runs and Ed shoots him. Turns out it’s Jerry. The papers are angry at Ed because Jerry will never be able to have kids.
Ed visits him in the hospital and a friendship forms. Jerry tips him off to a crime and in turn Ed stands up for him at his trial and Jerry gets probation. A few years go by and the role of Jerry is now played by Tony Curtis.
A girl that keeps trying to get Jerry’s attention files a phony statutory rape charge against him. Jerry knows the guilty party but refuses to name him. He ends up in the reformatory until he’s twenty-one. Ed gets a nice promotion and buys a house for his wife Ellen (Julie Adams) and baby.
When Jerry gets out Ed and Ellen pick him up and encourage him to stay within the law. Jerry’s first move is to assault Andy Norris (Jan Merlin). He was the member of his gang that was guilty of the rape charge. Now he gets his friends Skids and Red to go into a racket where he fixes the results of a horse race and takes bookies for a nice amount of cash. On his way back from the track Jerry crashes his car. The cops find a gun and it’s off to the big house. Ed goes ballistic.
It’s 1941. Jerry wants to join the army like some other inmates did. Turns out he’s not a citizen. His father brought him to the U.S. when he was a year old. His father never became a citizen. Ellen wants Ed to get a pardon for him. Ellen visits Jerry in jail. He says he’s bitter because he can never have kids or serve his country.
It’s now 1946 and Jerry is out. It doesn’t take long for him to become a successful gangster. He continues to give Ed tips on any crooks that interfere with him. There’s a three hundred thousand dollar robbery. Ed is sure Jerry is behind it but Jerry has a priest for an alibi. Ed wants to work him over. Jerry says he gave the priest a donation because he wants a church wedding. The girl he wants to marry has three kids.
Ed is his best man. Looks like Jerry has gone straight. He separates himself from his rackets and buys three gas stations. He also buys a pardon. Now he becomes a citizen and he and his wife are friends with Ed and Ellen.
A good story and good acting raise this above a B movie and is well worth checking out.