Anthony Quinn makes a great gangster in this must see movie for crime fans. He’s a Brooklyn hood who has it all his own way until a reporter (Peter Graves) gets out his trusty typewriter. Anne Bancroft is very good as Quinn’s sister.
Phil Regal (Anthony Quinn) arranges the death of a loan shark. A couple walking down the street sees the murder. Regal sends the hoods out of town and is then questioned by reporter Joe McFarland (Peter Graves). Phil tells him that no matter what the D.A. says, he runs an honest loan business.
Phil goes to his old apartment where his mother and sister Rosalie live for his usual dinner visit. He runs into a tenant that says he saw Rosalie coming out of an obstetrician’s office. She says she’s quit college. Their mother says she’s been sick lately. Phil adds it all up and realizes she’s pregnant. The father is Nicky Bradna (Farley Granger). He’s currently on death row at Sing Sing. He doesn’t have much longer to go.
Phil wants Rosalie to marry him in a church so his mother won’t be disgraced in the neighborhood. He hires a sleazy lawyer and then gets his henchmen to intimidate two witnesses into changing their testimony. He also tears up a debt a woman owes and she gives Nicky an alibi. As a result Nicky goes free. D.A .Blaker (Whit Bissel) tells Nicky he’ll get him. Nicky and Rosalie are married. Phil gets him a truck driving job at eighty-five bucks a week. It’s not the big time Nicky thought he’d fall into.
A body is found in the river. It’s a given that Phil set it up but it can’t be proven. Joe is assigned to once again talk to Phil. Phil says he’ll give him a different kind of story, one about his family. He invites Joe to mothers for dinner. Joe and Rosalie recognize each other. They went to high school together. Joe was a couple years ahead of her but that didn’t stop him from having a crush on her.
Nicky comes home and complains about the way Phil treats him. She calms him down and everything is fine….for a while. Their baby dies during childbirth and Nicky changes. He starts cheating on her and then arranges for his truck to be hijacked. Meanwhile Joe runs a tough story naming names hoping to scare one of Phil’s gang to going to the D.A. to talk. He shows the story to Rosalie. She doesn’t buy it.
Phil sees Nicky out with a babe and later on spots some bruises on Rosalie. She says she fell. Phil knows better. He sets up a frame with Nicky’s best friend Latzi (Jerry Paris). It involves jeweler Harry Goldish (Lee Van Cleef).
This is really good and one worth looking up.
If you like playing spot the character actor or blink and you’ll miss him parts, keep an eye out for Sid Melton as Hermie and Frank Sully as a gangster named Nutsy. Sully played the dimwitted Sgt.Matthews in the Boston Blackie movies.