This brutal little crime film stars Crawford as an undercover cop who poses as a corrupt dock worker in order to get the goods on the mobsters who run the wharf. Disturbed by this hard-case newcomer, the mob dispatches enforcers Brand and Borgnine to persuade Crawford to cool his jets. The
undercover cop manages to convince the gangsters that his talents could be valuable to their operation, and he is given a low-level position in the mob organization. Once inside the gang, Crawford is surprised to find another undercover agent, Kiley. Kiley has been assigned to uncover the identity
of the mob leader, who is known only as "Smoothie." Together the cops employ a number of devices to ferret out the information--everything from brutalizing informants to using glow-in-the-dark liquid in order to follow the mob kingpin's car (hardly a novel device; a smoother sleuth, Sherlock
Holmes [Basil Rathbone] used the same trick nine years before in SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE SECRET WEAPON). Eventually Crawford manages to force Smoothie to reveal himself, and the mobster is gunned down by police in a hospital while trying to put the kibosh on Crawford and his girl friend, Buehler.
Corruption is found in every dark corner of THE MOB, from dock workers to the police department itself. The film's view of society is bleak and depressing, with the lines between good and bad frequently blurred. Crawford and Kiley are often shown to be just as brutal as the men they are trying to
put behind bars in this interesting precursor of brutal-cop crime films to come (such as the DIRTY HARRY series). THE MOB boasts a veritable "who's who" of urban tough guys, with Neville Brand, Ernest Borgnine, and even Charles Bronson (billed in a small role as "Buchinsky" here) lending their
brutish talents to the dark proceedings. While not at all a pleasant film, THE MOB is a gripping, violent drama that will satisfy fans of the crime genre.
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- Rating: NR
- Review: This brutal little crime film stars Crawford as an undercover cop who poses as a corrupt dock worker in order to get the goods on the mobsters who run the wharf. Disturbed by this hard-case newcomer, the mob dispatches enforcers Brand and Borgnine to persu… (more)