Chicago Syndicate (1955)

chicago syndicate 1955

Good one with Dennis O’Keefe going undercover to bust the syndicate led by Paul Stewart. Bandleader Xavier Cugat does a bit of acting along with his vocalist Abbe Lane. They also do a few numbers.

Newspaper editor David Healey gets a visit from syndicate accountant Nelson Kern. He tells him about the syndicate and their hold on the city. Outside the building he’s gunned down. His wife commits suicide and his daughter who is in Paris disappears into a sanitarium.

Healey gets a group together including rival newspapers  and Detective Lt.Robert Fenton (John Zaremba). Accountant, war hero and lawyer Barry Amsterdam (Dennis O’Keefe) is asked to go undercover into the mob run by Arnie Valent (Paul Stewart). After being offered sixty grand…he’s in.

Susan Morton (Allison Hayes) is a customer at Valent’s gambling club and Barry uses her to get into the casino. Barry tells the clubs’ manager that he saw the hit on Kern and knows who did it. Barry lets his wallet get picked and lets a couple hoods follow him home. He’s hit on the head and taken to see Arnie.

Thanks to a set up from Healey’s group Barry’s cover story works. Arnie gives him some further tests. He sets him up to work at a syndicate insurance company. He saves them seventy grand thanks to another ploy by the group and now he’s really in. Arnie shows him how the syndicate has a stranglehold in many cities across the country. Despite that Barry can’t get a provable link with Arnie and the mob.

Barry sees Sue back at the club gambling and drives her home. He on purpose cuts his finger. While she’s getting a band-aid he searches her closet and discovers that she’s really Joyce Kern, the murdered mans daughter. Now she works with Barry and the group to bring down Arnie.

Arnie takes Barry to his mother’s place in the old neighborhood. That’s where he keeps the real ledger. Now that Barry knows the system the books will be in his name so there’s no connection to Arnie. Joyce/Sue followed them and calls the cops.

Before Fenton can get there Arnie burns the ledger. Barry has to act fast so they don’t blow his cover. Arnie is attracted to Joyce and that gets his girlfriend Connie (Abbe Lane) ballistic. That may be the key to bringing Arnie down. It all comes to a nice action filled finish.




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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