The Garment Jungle (1957)

the garment jungle 1957

This is one to see. Some great acting from Lee J.Cobb and Robert Loggia in the story of the union trying to get into one of the few non union shops in the garment district. The shop’s owner has hoods on the payroll to keep them out. Special kudos to Wesley Addy in a bit part as hood Mr.Paul.

Walter Roxton (Lee J.Cobb) argues with his partner Fred Kenner. Fred insists that it’s time for the union to come in,. Walter is dead set against it. Fred says he’s tired of Walter paying some hoods to make sure the union stays out.

Fred goes to the freight elevator and has to wait for a repairman. Some repairman. The elevator speeds down twenty-seven floors. So much for Fred. The death is rules an accident.

Walter’s son Alan (Kerwin Mathews) returns home after three years saying he wants to go into the business. He doesn’t want him there. Lee Hackett (Valerie French) is a buyer and Walter’s girlfriend. She convinces him to bring Alan in.

The next day Alan gets a tour of the factory and showroom from foreman Tony (Harold J.Stone with an Italian accent). One of the workers complains about the low wages and Tony threatens to can him. In walks union organizer Tulio Renata (Robert Loggia). He yells at Walter and swears to get the union in and says he knows he’s been paying Artie Ravidge (Richard Boone) to keep them out.

Since Walter won’t talk about it to Alan he goes to the union hall. Tulio’s wife Theresa (Gia Scala) is there with their baby. She wants Tulio to stop his activities because they’re too dangerous. A bit later a secret union meeting is held run by organizer Dave Bronson (Willis Bouchey). Some of Artie’s hoods including Mr.Paul (Wesley Addy) and The Ox (Adam Williams) break in and assault Tulio and Bronson.

That won’t stop Tulio from calling for a picket line in front of the factory building. That night he and a few pickets stand by to stop any trucks from coming in. A truck comes in. Mr.Paul and The Ox get out. Tulio’s friends, including George Kovan (Joseph Wiseman) don’t do a thing as Tulio is stabbed.

A bit earlier Theresa showed up with the baby. Alan was also on the scene. Tulio told him to get her out of there. Instead of going home they stop at a nearby bar. The pickets run in to use the phone and Theresa finds out what happened. Walter asks Artie what happened and he says Tulio pulled a knife.

After the funeral, Theresa moves in with her mother-in-law. Alan goes with her. In comes Kovan. He tells them he can’t live with the fact he didn’t do anything. He changes his testimony but a grand jury refuses to bring charges.

The three guys who betrayed Tulio were put on the job by Artie and Alan fires them.  Artie insists to Walter that they be rehired. Walter is seeing the light about Artie’s fifteen years behind the scenes and says he’s got to go. Artie says he isn’t going anywhere. Walter says he’s letting the union in. That night while Alan works in his office he hears a shot. Walter’s dead. Now things get even nastier.

Rather than sort through a bunch of movies to find something to watch, check this one out.

James Bond fans know Joseph Wiseman as the title character in 1962’s “Dr.No.”


About vintage45

I'm a big fan of vintage books,movies,TV shows and music. I encourage everyone to patronize your local used book/record store and pick up some of the good stuff. My posts are capsule reviews of some favorites that you may want to investigate. The albums posted aren't really reviews but items from my collection that are still available. I try and point out highlights of each one and let the music speak for itself. Thanks to all for checking out the blog.
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