Slaughter On Tenth Avenue

  • 1957
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Crime

The title for this movie is drawn from the Richard Rodgers music composed for a ballet in the stage presentation "On Your Toes." It's a highlight of this semidocumentary as Joe Gershenson's musical direction and Herschel Burke Gilbert's magnificent orchestrations keep it humming in the background. This was made a few years after ON THE WATERFRONT and covers...read more

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The title for this movie is drawn from the Richard Rodgers music composed for a ballet in the stage presentation "On Your Toes." It's a highlight of this semidocumentary as Joe Gershenson's musical direction and Herschel Burke Gilbert's magnificent orchestrations keep it humming in the

background. This was made a few years after ON THE WATERFRONT and covers much the same territory, although not as well. Egan, playing the real-life Pennsylvania poor boy who came to New York to be the assistant district attorney, gets the task of discovering who shot Shaughnessy, a longshoreman

who had been working on exposing the gangsters in and around the docks. Shaughnessy's widow is Sterling (a marvelous, sympathetic role) and she and two of the law-abiding dock workers, Bellaver and Dennis, reluctantly help Egan get to the bottom of things. Levene is Egan's boss; he pushes his

charge to keep going in the face of a "code of silence" put up by everyone else. The bad guys are led by Matthau, who had not yet become a major comedy actor, and Duryea, who is the criminals' mouthpiece. Egan's wife, Adams, sticks by her man as he goes deeper into the underworld to uncover the

truth. Shaughnessy lingers on the edge of death for a while and then, when he knows he is checking out, gives Egan the information that leads to the trial at the end of the picture. At one point, Egan thinks Levene may be part of the cabal because Duryea had once worked for him and continues to be

a friend. In the end, the case is solved and the racketeers are run off the docks so the honest workers can go back to what they do. The killer is menacingly played by Weaver, and Hargitay, once mainly known as one of Mae West's night club act muscle men before he married Jayne Mansfield, is a

tough guy. McGraw chips in with a solid performance as a cop, and Shaughnessy, in an unaccustomed dramatic role, proves that he can play serious as well as funny with equal ability. Laven, who was later to become very successful in a TV partnership with Levy and Gardner ("The Rifleman," etc.)

handles the directing well and gives it a gritty feeling of reality.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: The title for this movie is drawn from the Richard Rodgers music composed for a ballet in the stage presentation "On Your Toes." It's a highlight of this semidocumentary as Joe Gershenson's musical direction and Herschel Burke Gilbert's magnificent orchest… (more)

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