Purportedly approved by the New York City Anti-Crime Committee as a testament to its authenticity, NEW YORK CONFIDENTIAL is, historically accurate or not, a fine, solid expose on organized crime. Crawford plays the boss of the New York mob, a powerful member of the "board of directors" of a
nationwide criminal empire that has begun dipping into legitimate business and politics. When a problem arises among the mob rank and file, the powers that be decide to eliminate the troublemaker. Stevens, head of the Chicago chapter, dispatches his best hit man, Conte, to do the job. Conte makes
a great impression on Crawford because of the speed and finesse he demonstrates on the hit, so the New York boss makes the young killer his bodyguard. Treating Conte as if he were a son, Crawford swiftly moves the assassin up the ranks and even tries to force a romance between his protege and his
daughter, Bancroft. Bancroft despises her father's business and will have nothing to do with it. Meanwhile, the mob's efforts to get a foothold in the oil industry collapse when their man in Washington turns state's evidence. Despite Crawford's protests, the board wants the traitor killed in New
York City. Reluctantly, Crawford sends three hoods to do the job, and, although they accomplish the task, too many clues are left behind. Angry over the botched job, Crawford orders Conte to kill the hit men. Conte eliminates two of the killers, but the third gets away and informs on Crawford to
the police. The crisis explodes in Crawford's face when the syndicate decides that he must take the fall to protect the rest of the crime cartel. His life collapsing around him, Crawford tries to salvage his family and position in the mob by forcing a marriage between Conte and his daughter.
Determined not to continue the tradition of murder, crime, and corruption that has plagued the family name, Bancroft commits suicide. Destroyed, Crawford turns against the mob and decides to talk. The mob, however, has anticipated this move and dispatches a hesitant Conte to kill Crawford. Conte
swallows any reservations about the job and murders his former boss. Though pleased with his work, the syndicate takes no chances and Conte is killed as well. Fast-paced, grim, and realistic, NEW YORK CONFIDENTIAL is filled with memorable performances from a solid cast of professionals. Crawford
brings a brutish eloquence to his role, and Conte is outstanding as the talented newcomer who actually seems to have reservations about his work. Director Rouse was no stranger to the crime genre, having cowritten D.O.A. in 1950 and directed THE WELL in 1951, both films which contain fresh twists
and approaches to material that had become a bit tired by the 1950s.
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- Rating: NR
- Review: Purportedly approved by the New York City Anti-Crime Committee as a testament to its authenticity, NEW YORK CONFIDENTIAL is, historically accurate or not, a fine, solid expose on organized crime. Crawford plays the boss of the New York mob, a powerful memb… (more)