- Now, this is noir! 7/17/2009 12:00:00 AM by carolynpaetow
Opine that a film is noir, and the arguments will sprout up like mushrooms in a dark cellar. This gritty little feature, however, should cause contention only among those who designate noir in terms of directors, inclusive years, or other mercenary measures. The plot concerns police corruption, and the protagonist is an unsullied, but savvy rookie cop who is ready and willing to cast sentiment aside and get the goods by hook or crook. The Production Code is cracking, and characters talk of a woman putting out and a good guy's willingness to cheat on his wife. There's no soft soap or sappiness--only an oblique noir world that twists and turns and delivers flashes of light amidst the gloom.
- I didn't kill anyone! I just followed orders! 6/23/2008 12:00:00 AM by sol1218
***SPOILERS*** With the shocking news, due to investigative reporter Reid, flooding every newspaper radio and TV station in the city about police corruption the D.A's office headed by Brooklyn D.A Michael W. Norris has commandeered the just graduating class of the Police Academy and put it, and its 40 rookie cops, under his personal control.
With the mob controlled bookies having almost total immunity from the law it's obvious that the cops are being paid off to look the other way by what's known as the "Syndicate". But what isn't known is just how far and high the corruption leads to! It may well lead straight into the Police Commissioner's or even Mayor's office!
With both rookie cops Pete Harris and is partner Jess Johnson put undercover to crack the bookie ring and the cops controlled by it Pete get's in touch with a local Brooklyn woman who's husband was driven to suicide by the "Syndicate". Acting as if he's an old high school acquainting of her Harris get's Lil Polombo to open up about her husbands, Gus, strange death. Gus was in hock to the syndicate for $800.00, in losing bets on the horses, and got worked over by Finelli's, who runs the local bookie operations, boys and told to come up with the cash or else!
Not having the money and not wanting to leave his old lady Lil out in the cold Gus got himself a double indemnity life insurance policy and immediately dove his truck off the road killing himself! As Lil was going through a deep depression, almost drinking herself blind, both Pete and local laundry delivery man and family friend Rudi Franklin came to comfort her. Pete was serious about Lili's loss but Rudi wasn't. Rudi in fact was one of the goon's who worked, laundering the weekly illegal gambling take, for Filenni. Rudi was also one of Filenni's goons who worked Gus over which lead to him, in not wanting to end up at the bottom of the East River, to kill himself.
The movie "The Case Against Brooklyn" has both Pete and Russ get stymied in trying to uncover who's the big cheese, or kingpin, behind the police corruption & bookie racket in the borough. Russ' nerves get the best of him which ends up in him getting himself shot and killed by a fellow cop Sgt. Bonney. Bonney in fact was also working for Filenni and mistook Russ as a prowler when he caught him snooping around Filenni's bookie joint.
Holding himself responsible for his partners-Russ Johnson-death Pete goes all out to get those behind his murder only to end up getting his wife Jane killed with a booby trapped telephone that was meant for him. Frustrated in how little help he's getting from his fellow cops, who for the most part are in the pay of the "Syndicate", and the D.A's office Peter throws in his badge and quites the force in disgust. It's then that Pete goes out on his own to get Filenni and those in the department who are protecting him as well as the hoods who murdered his wife Jean.
Together with a reluctant Lil's help Pete gets an unsuspecting Rudi to take him, in his laundry truck, to the big bosses hideout-the laundry factory-where the sparks and bullets start flying. That's when Pete, like so many times in the movie, blows his cover and ends up with the barrel of a .38 police special aimed straight at his face.
Based on a true story "The Case Against Brooklyn", released in 1958, shows that police corruption didn't start and end with both Officer Frank Serpico-who almost lost his life fighting it-and the 1970's Knapp Commission Hearings that shockingly exposed it as not being just a couple of bad apples in the department but a whole barrel full. The fact that there's honest and dedicated policemen like Pete Harris and his late partner Russ Johnson out on the street keeping criminals honest, and behind bars, is what makes the job of being an honest cop that much more easier as well as rewarding for those on the force willing to be one.
- Great 1958 crime/drama film! 10/20/2010 12:00:00 AM by tsmithjr
The Case Against Brooklyn is a terrific 1958 movie based upon a real New York police scandal. It's a very well crafted crime drama, typical of the era. A classic piece for the times. And there's plenty of great acting (keeping in mind this was filmed in the 1950's where action moves were exaggerated).
Darren McGavin is excellent as the chief undercover officer who tries to discover the highest levels of the corruption. If you're a fan of current day crime/dramas, movies like "The Case Against Brooklyn" are the movies upon which good quality crime/dramas have their foundation. That said, it was made in 1958. So it doesn't have the "gloss" of later films. None the less, it's fantastic to watch.
- Rookie Of The Year 5/13/2010 12:00:00 AM by bkoganbing
A real scandal involving several NYPD police officers stationed in Brooklyn was the basis for this crime and corruption story that became the plot for The Case Against Brooklyn.
Cops are being paid off at an alarming rate to close their eyes and look the other way as illegal betting parlors open up for business all over the Borough of homes and churches. The District Attorney in Kings County who at that time in real life was a man named Edward Silver is determined to do something about it. In the film the character's name is Michael Norris and he's played by Tol Avery.
What Avery's decided to do is literally hijack the whole graduating class at the Academy and have them work for him undercover. One of them, Darren McGavin is sent undercover to romance the recent widow of Joe DeSantis who committed suicide so his double indemnity clause could pay off Nestor Paiva the bookie who's sent some of his enforcers around to collect. As McGavin romances Margaret Hayes that certainly puts a strain on his marriage to Peggy McCay.
And the triangle becomes four sided as Warren Stevens who does a bit of everything for Paiva, muscle, bagman, and even hit-man also starts courting Hayes to see what could spill to the cops, if she can find some that she can trust.
Best performances in the film by far are from DeSantis and Hayes. As the victim you can feel things closing in for DeSantis as he makes that final gesture for his wife's solvency. And Hayes you can feel sorry for the fact she's being used by both sides.
How it all ends, let me say that the climax takes a leaf from the Fritz Lang noir classic The Big Heat and if you know that film, you know about 80% of how the story will come out.
McGavin himself is a ruthless sort looking to prove himself, knowing that a good job here will cement his reputation. In real life it would have gained him a long career in Internal Affairs.
A year after the Dodgers left Brooklyn, The Case Against Brooklyn is a fine noir drama based on a real incident in the beloved former home of the Bums.
- dry cop drama 7/15/2009 12:00:00 AM by ksf-2
Only the second film that Paul Wendkos directed, the "Case Against Brooklyn" is a look inside the New York police department. The lead, Officer Pete Harris (Darren McGavin ) must separate the good guys from the bad guys without getting knocked off himself. McGavin had been in films and numerous TV appearances for 10 years, along with co-stars Margaret Hayes, Peggy McCay, and Warren Stevens. It's a bit like an episode of Dragnet - there's an omniscient narrator giving us the play by play. At one point, there's a singer in a lounge, Bobby Helms, who sings "Jacqueline", in a complete standstill, deadpan manner as he leans against the jukebox. The real interesting note here is that he was also the co-writer on "Jingle Bell Rock"... too bad he didn't sing that one. The character here with real personality has about the smallest role - the landlady Mrs. Carney, played by Cheerio Meredith, is eccentric, nosy, and likes to give advice. You probably recognize her as the gossipy "Emma Watson" from the Andy Griffith show. I was determined to watch this through to the end, but it's as dry as a piece of toast with no buttah.