6.0/10
184
8 user 10 critic

Hoodlum Empire (1952)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 15 April 1952 (USA)
After WW2, ex-mobster war hero Joe Gray goes straight, to the dismay of his New York mob boss uncle who's afraid that his nephew will testify against his outfit before a Grand Jury.

Director:

Joseph Kane

Writers:

Robert Considine (story) (as Bob Considine), Bruce Manning (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

After the murder of his fiancée, a Wyoming ranch hand sets out to find her killer.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Marlene Dietrich, Arthur Kennedy, Mel Ferrer
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A married, middle-aged woman is shocked to discover that her husband, who she thought was content in their marriage, has become infatuated with a beautiful younger woman and is planning to leave his family for her.

Director: J. Lee Thompson
Stars: Yvonne Mitchell, Anthony Quayle, Sylvia Syms
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A woman whose husband never came home from World War I finds herself in love with her doctor. She travels with him to Switzerland, and as they check into the hotel there, she is astounded to see her supposedly dead husband.

Director: Berthold Viertel
Stars: Claudette Colbert, Clive Brook, Charles Boyer
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Millie comes to town in the roaring twenties to encounter flappers, sexuality and white slavers.

Director: George Roy Hill
Stars: Julie Andrews, James Fox, Mary Tyler Moore
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Whitney Cameron suspects his sister-in-law has poisoned his brother and niece, but without proof how does he prevent the murder of his nephew?

Director: Andrew L. Stone
Stars: Joseph Cotten, Jean Peters, Gary Merrill
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A secretary tries to help her boss, who is framed for a murder.

Director: Henry Hathaway
Stars: Lucille Ball, Clifton Webb, William Bendix
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A top syndicate crime boss and his corrupt politicians, make multi-million deals and order murders , until the vicious pattern finally catches up to him.

Director: Russell Rouse
Stars: Broderick Crawford, Richard Conte, Anne Bancroft
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Two New York City longshoremen Axel Nordmann, an Army deserter and Tommy Tyler, an easy-going freight car loader whose growing friendship is threatened by Charles Malik, a notably repellent punk.

Director: Martin Ritt
Stars: John Cassavetes, Sidney Poitier, Jack Warden
Three Secrets (1950)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Three women who secretly gave their new-born sons up for adoption in 1945, wonder if the 5-year old survivor of a plane crash, named in the local newspapers, is their long-abandoned son.

Director: Robert Wise
Stars: Eleanor Parker, Patricia Neal, Ruth Roman
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Small time con artist Lefty Merrill has co-organized a crooked dance marathon and set-up his girlfriend to win the prize money. When his partner disappears with money before the contest is ... See full summary »

Director: Mervyn LeRoy
Stars: James Cagney, Mary Brian, Allen Jenkins
Enchantment (1948)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Uncle Rollo finally retires to the house he was brought up in. Lost in thoughts of his lost love, Lark, he does not want to be disturbed in his last days. However, the appearance of his ... See full summary »

Director: Irving Reis
Stars: David Niven, Teresa Wright, Evelyn Keyes
Foxfire (1955)
Action | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

In Arizona, during the 1950s, privileged white girl Amanda Lawrence marries half-Apache mining engineer Jonathan Dartland who dreams of finding gold in an old abandoned Apache mine.

Director: Joseph Pevney
Stars: Jane Russell, Jeff Chandler, Dan Duryea
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Brian Donlevy ... Senator Bill Stephens
Claire Trevor ... Connie Williams
Forrest Tucker ... Charley Pignatalli
Vera Ralston ... Marte Dufour
Luther Adler ... Nick Mancani
John Russell ... Joe Gray
Gene Lockhart ... Senator Tower
Grant Withers ... Rev. Simon Andrews
Taylor Holmes ... Benjamin Lawton
Roy Barcroft ... Morris Draper
William Murphy ... Pete Dailey
Richard Jaeckel ... Ted Dawson
Don Beddoe ... Senator Blake
Roy Roberts ... Police Chief Tayls
Richard Benedict ... Silky Tanner
Edit

Storyline

A former gangster who joined the army during World War II and became a hero is now leading a respectable life, out of the rackets. However, when he is called before a grand jury probing organized crime activities, his former colleagues in the mob are afraid he'll spill the beans, and prepare to take measures to ensure that he doesn't. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Vicious Killers Who Do the Murders and Run the Rotten Rackets! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 April 1952 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Au royaume des crapules See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Republic Pictures (I) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Connections

Referenced in Rewind This! (2013) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Melodramatic, morally simplistic, dull, wooden acting and devoid of any excitement, thrills or audience involvement – cool title, but everything else is poor
10 October 2004 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

It is the 1950's and the US Government is coming down hard on organised crime, going after the top men in order to cut off the head and kill the snake. Their current target is one Nicky Mansani, the elusive mob boss who has so far managed to stay away from his own senate hearing. As the statements and testimonies come in, the main event is one Joe Gray – who has turned state's evidence against his former mob colleagues, having come back from WWII as a hero and a new man. However, the others aim to prevent Joe from testifying and even set him up for prosecution.

With a title that sounded dark and foreboding and offered the suggestion of a dark crime pulp thriller, I set the video and figured I'd give it a go. However the opening credits suggest a standard period genre film with no frills, an image that the film sadly maintains with the majority of its material. The actual story is a good idea but it is delivered in such a totally flat and unengaging manner that it is really hard to get involved with the film. The flashback structure is difficult to pull off so it is no surprise that the film struggles, but no excuse for being such a mess in regards narrative. The flashbacks are not tense or urgent enough – they needed to be tight, telling and convincing; instead they were often slow, boring and irrelevant. The bits that do work well are lost in a load of scenes that add little to the film and any possible tension is really sucked out of it. As the story goes on it becomes a bit clearer as to its focus and direction but I only really got into it by making an effort and stayed with it despite the delivery – not because of it.

The tone of the film is very melodramatic as opposed to tough and noir-ish and this too is a problem. The dialogue matches this tone and it is too soapy to really suit the subject matter. With the story weakened by the flashback structure and the dialogue being all a bit too melodramatic and earnest, the actors do not have a great deal to work with other than stereotypical cardboard roles from the genre. Russell is far too square and rigid; he never convinces as a former wise-guy and is far to clean-cut and boring as a reformed character. Ralston's character is totally unnecessary and without her the film could have lost most of the WW2 flashback; she is rather bland and added nothing to the film. Withers played blind by being as stiff as a board – sadly he did this in his delivery and not just his posture. Adler is OK but not convincing as a big boss; Tucker is better and more fitting the genre even if it is a by-the-numbers character. Claire Trevor is underused but a good moll and the always-interesting Donlevy was given a solid role in support (I like him – and not just because he is from Northern Ireland!)

Overall this film had potential but it blows it in the delivery. The melodramatic and morally simplistic tone feeds through the script and damages the whole film. The flashback structure is difficult to pull off at the best of times and it falls flat here, producing scenes that are dull, disjointed and unengaging, robbing the subject matter of the dark tone and tight pace that it really needed. The cast are mostly wooden and stiff, with even the OK ones failing to bring much life to this film. Not really worth seeing and I understand now why so few people have seen it.


6 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 8 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed