The Shakedown Film Details
Overview: After being released from prison, Augie Cortona sets up a blackmail operation, fronted by a model agency. When the authorities get wind of his activities, they send in an undercover police …
Tagline: Models were the bait for BLACKMAIL!
Review: This is such a superior movie in every way that I can’t understand why it doesn’t rate a mention in the Chibnall/McFarlane book “The British “B” Film” – it’s a B movie but one of the best. Terence Morgan occasionally had a good guy role but it was as the vicious menacing type that he excelled and his role as the vengeance driven Augie Cortona is, I think, one of his finest parts. In fact when tough guy gangster parts dried up that’s when his career faltered. He plays angst riddled Augie Cortona, fresh out of prison, who finds that his territory has been taken over by the gangster who double crossed him in the first place – Gollar (played by none other than (at this stage of his career) the very versatile Harry H. Corbett). He meets a shabby but articulate photographer Jessel (Donald Pleasance) who specialises in women’s portraits and is over the moon that a stranger should propose a working partnership (complete with capital) of a photography studio plus a model school. But Augie intends to use Jessel as a respectable front while he plunges into the vice trade by setting up a black mailing business aimed at all the respectable businessmen lured into the advertisements of “Wanted Amateur Photographers with Artistically Posed Models”!! By the aid of a one-sided mirror, Augie photographs enough evidence to bleed the frightened parties dry!!! Unfortunately Pleasance’s photographer disappears half way through the film, just after a particularly gripping scene in which he confronts Augie about his unscrupulous doings. Pleasance raises the acting bar – he can’t stand the sordid side but the opportunity of being made a partner and seeing his future made easier is too hard to resist. His exit leaves room for two more characters, the always welcome Bill Owen as Augie’s former cell mate and now right hand man and the beautiful Hazel Court as a at first hesitant model, but there’s something about Mildred….. Augie falls for her class and style and in any other movie you would see a gradual character softening but Morgan plays real and never allows Mildred to penetrate his steely psychosis, he is a vicious thug who won’t change. There’s plenty of realistic action, Hazel Court is always a class edition to any movie even when she is definitely part of the fighting action!!! Very Recommended
Duration: 92 min
Genre: Crime, Drama
Also known as: Häväistyksen kauppiaat,Chantage à Soho,Hadaka no kagami,Der nackte Spiegel,Ekviastis ton ekatommyriouhon,The Shakedown,Bandoleiros do Asfalto,I kataskopos tis Scotland Yard,The Naked Mirror,Fotofällan,裸の鏡,La spia di Scotland Yard,Øjnene bag spejlet,Naked Mirror