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

Thursday, October 15, 2015


STREET OF SINNERS (1957). Director: William Berke.

"Oh, Johnny, I don't want to die. I want to be loved."

John Dean (George Montgomery) is a rookie cop who has just been assigned patrol duty in one of the worst neighborhoods in town. Tavern owner Leon (Nehemiah Persoff), who seems to be a benign, helpful presence in the area, is actually the man who turns the wheels and owns everybody he knows. John encounters a tough little bitch named Nancy (Marilee Earle), as well as budding hood Rickey (Stephen Joyce). A sad figure on the street is Terry (Geraldine Brooks), who is fond of undressing in public and is as lonely as Hell. An alcoholic, Terry has John for dinner and serves him a charcoal pork chop. When a tragedy occurs, John is temporarily suspended, but he continues to investigate the disappearance of a young lady who had the goods on Leon. It all builds up to an exciting climax and the final confrontation between John and Leon. Street of Sinners is a snappy little number that is distinguished by some fine work by Persoff, and especially Brooks [Cry Wolf], who is touching and absolutely superb. Montgomery [The Cowboy and the Blonde] is competent but nothing more. The jazzy musical score doesn't really work with the movie, however, and some of the character reversals are a little too abrupt. William Berke also directed The Lost Missile and many Jungle Jim movies.

Verdict: Taut, brisk, and altogether admirable "B" picture. ***.

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