Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, May 29, 2008


THE GARMENT JUNGLE (1957). Director: Vincent Sherman.

Soon after the terrible death of his partner in a freight elevator "accident" -- a horrifying, well-handled sequence -- Walter Mitchell (Lee J. Cobb) welcomes his son Alan (Kerwin Mathews) into the garment business. Alan is disturbed to learn what a hold the mob has on the business with its protection racket, and how they've been terrorizing union organizers. This is basically a poor man's On the Waterfront, and not at all in the same league as that classic. However, there are several good scenes, and there's an interesting cast. Cobb is as good as ever, and Mathews gives it a good try, but his forte was swashbuckling costume heroes like in The 7th Voyage of Sinbad, not realistic drama. Richard Boone is more on the mark as a mob boss, as is Robert Loggia as a union organizer and Joseph Wiseman (Dr. No) as one of the garment workers. Wesley Addy has an unusual role as a vicious associate of Boone's. Gia Scala and Valerie French are effective as the ladies involved with the garment workers.
Verdict: Overbaked melodrama. **.

No comments: