Hoodlum Empire

  • 1952
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Crime

This rather plodding crime melodrama, inspired by the Kefauver investigations into organized crime in 1950-51, features Donlevy as a crusading senator (a la Senator Estes Kefauver) out to destroy Adler's criminal empire. The flabby story begins with Russell, a onetime mobster who has gone off to war, has performed heroically, and has undergone a moralistic...read more

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This rather plodding crime melodrama, inspired by the Kefauver investigations into organized crime in 1950-51, features Donlevy as a crusading senator (a la Senator Estes Kefauver) out to destroy Adler's criminal empire. The flabby story begins with Russell, a onetime mobster who has gone

off to war, has performed heroically, and has undergone a moralistic transformation, refusing to have anything to do with his former associates upon his return. He seeks anonymity by opening a gas station, but mobsters find Russell, then use his name in a vast money-laundering scheme that brings

him to the attention of Donlevy and law enforcement officers. Russell fights back with the help of his Army friends, and a full-scale battle ensues with several deaths recorded. Donlevy, meanwhile, outlines the evil doings of Adler's mob, later exposing and ruining the crime czar. Russell survives

to pump more gas. The story is pedestrian and the acting only occasionally above par. George Raft was originally offered the role played by Adler, one which was based upon Raft's onetime underworld friend and syndicate leader Frank Costello. Raft declined. Adler aptly portrays the Costello-like

character as a shifty, insidious, and wholly reprehensible criminal. Ralston, wife of Republic boss Herbert J. Yates, has a forgettable supporting role, though her nepotistic stardom was in rapid decline by the release of this film.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: This rather plodding crime melodrama, inspired by the Kefauver investigations into organized crime in 1950-51, features Donlevy as a crusading senator (a la Senator Estes Kefauver) out to destroy Adler's criminal empire. The flabby story begins with Russel… (more)

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