New York Confidential Film Details
Overview: 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.
Tagline: When these guns go off they set off the biggest screen explosion about the violence-and-vice merchants ever made public!
Review: This isn’t nearly as bad as it starts out to be or as it sometimes becomes. It has to overcome a couple of weaknesses that are so obvious they cry out for attention. One is the utter absence of any local color. It’s all about “New York” but we only see a minute or two of the city in some stock shots under the credits. The film is studio bound and the production design lacks any imagination. All the rooms and offices are cheap and strictly functional. Sometimes the painted backdrop outside the window is presented at the wrong angle and the effect is dizzying because the perspective is askew, as in a de Chirico painting. Speaking of painting, a gang of rival hoods takes a pot shot at the Syndicate Big Wig, Charlie Lupo (Crawford), and just wing him, though the bullet goes through a painting he “paid thirty grand for.” I hope it was the one with the two Degas ballerinas because I’ve checked Degas’ ballerinas up close and his pastels are far better than mine ever were, the swine. This was also the period in which J. Edgar Hoover, President For Life of the FBI, was doing his best to convince the public that there was no such thing as a “Mafia” because he didn’t want his boys to get too close to all that money. So there is no Mafia here, only “the organization” or “the syndicate.” And, Crawford aside, nobody has an Italian name. They have names like Nick Magellan and Johnny Achilles and Whitey. Richard Conte is Nick Magellan and with the revelation of his character the movie picks up pace. He’s brought in from Chicago, pulls off a professional hit, and soon works his way up to a position as Crawford’s trusted deputy. Crawford’s trust is justified. Conte’s character is a complex one. He is loyal, polite, well spoken, and plays by the rules. The rules are pretty tough. The Organization always comes first. Crawford made up the rules and suffers for it, as does Conte. There isn’t room to spell out the entirety of the plot. It’s a crime thriller that puts Crawford, Conte, and Crawford’s daughter (Bancroft) through the wringer. Crawford himself is the barking dog that he lapsed into whenever the direction was slack, as it is here. (He was much better elsewhere, as in “All The King’s Men.”) Conte’s character is an honorable man and he plays it with restraint. Poor Anne Bancroft as the put-upon daughter is resentful and alcoholic and is burdened with some of the worst lines. “What’s the matter, Nick? TAKE me! I’m THROWING myself at you!” But Nick, a heterosexual, is still a man of honor and never violates someone else’s territory. He gives Marilyn Maxwell, Crawford’s main squeeze, the same treatment. Man, how she would love to have Conte stay for that nightcap. But the script isn’t entirely dumbed down. Maxwell is a hardened whore, yet when Crawford finds his daughter has been killed, she is there to comfort Crawford and share his grief. It’s not a “film noir,” a term that seems to have lost almost all meaning. It’s a crime thriller that takes place mostly in daylight and with few expressionistic effects. Maybe Russell Rouse didn’t have the time, the money, or the imagination to bring any poetry to the story. There is one tense scene that takes place in an elevator descending from the top floor to the lobby — too slowly, because it’s carrying three murderers who must get out of the building before the maid discovers the fresh cadaver. (The scene is lifted from 1947’s “Kiss of Death”.) And there’s another scene in which Conte brings off a hit and we see the victim slowly twist and fall, but only his shadow. In many ways the story isn’t THAT different from “The Godfather”. “New York Confidential” has the family values, the code of honor, the equivalent of the Five Families, the Italian connection, the need to kill one or two of their own, and even a consigliere. But it illustrates the difference between the work of studio hacks and the work of a talented director.
Country: United States
Duration: 87 min
Genre: Crime, Drama, Film-Noir
Also known as: Anonima delitti,Objectief: moord!,Objectif: meurtres!,New York Confidential,Pantherkatze,O Código do Diabo,New York yöllä,New York confidentiel,紐育秘密結社,New York – strengt fortroligt,Código del infierno,Nea Yorki, empisteftikon,Código do Crime