Shakedown

  • 1950
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Crime

A disturbing, unrelentingly grim indictment of blind ambition starring Duff as a cynical, unscrupulous news photographer who will do anything to secure a position on a major San Francisco newspaper. Landing a probationary position with the paper, Duff tries to cement his chances of full-time work by starting an affair with his boss, Dow. He is given an...read more

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A disturbing, unrelentingly grim indictment of blind ambition starring Duff as a cynical, unscrupulous news photographer who will do anything to secure a position on a major San Francisco newspaper. Landing a probationary position with the paper, Duff tries to cement his chances of

full-time work by starting an affair with his boss, Dow. He is given an assignment to photograph an elusive mobster, Donlevy, so Duff cleverly convinces the hood that it would be in his best interest to cooperate and allow only flattering photos to be printed in the papers. Donlevy agrees and even

allows Duff to photograph a robbery committed by one of his mob, Tierney. Duff then uses the photo to blackmail Tierney. Outraged and feeling betrayed by his boss, Tierney plants a bomb in Donlevy's car, blowing the mobster to bits. All of this is captured by Duff's camera, and the shot of Donlevy

actually being killed makes him famous overnight. He takes a job with a national magazine and begins romancing Donlevy's widow. All of the photographer's duplicity soon catches up with him, however, as he is killed by Tierney. Ironically, he snaps a picture of his killer before he dies, and that

photo ends up on page one of the San Francisco newspaper that gave him his start, alongside Duff's favorable obituary--the world never learning what a cruel and vicious man the photographer really was.

Duff is sensational as the ambitious photographer, convincingly creating an evil, wholly irredeemable character. While Duff's character is a man to be reviled, SHAKEDOWN encourages understanding and analysis of what it is in the American psyche that drives a person to commit such foul deeds in

pursuit of success. Tierney is also very good as the double-crossed hood who wants revenge.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: A disturbing, unrelentingly grim indictment of blind ambition starring Duff as a cynical, unscrupulous news photographer who will do anything to secure a position on a major San Francisco newspaper. Landing a probationary position with the paper, Duff trie… (more)

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