Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Rogue Cop (1954)

From AFI:
"Christopher Kelvaney, who has been on Beaumonte's payroll for years, demands to know why a small-time criminal like Fallon merits such intervention by the mob, but Beaumonte refuses to answer him. That evening, Christopher meets his brother in a nightclub where Eddie's girl friend, Karen Stephanson, works as a singer. Christopher presents Beaumonte's offer, warning that Eddie will be killed if he does not recant his identification of Fallon, but Eddie flatly refuses to be bought. Karen joins them, and while Eddie is away, Christopher remarks that they met two years ago, in Miami. Christopher then goes to Beaumonte's penthouse apartment, where the crime boss is meeting with his colleague Ackerman. To buy his brother time, Christopher tells the men that Eddie will cooperate, and Ackerman instructs him to bring Eddie by the following night."

This is the basic setup for ROGUE COP, one of a string of "bad cop" noirs that seem relegated to the early '50s, including ON DANGEROUS GROUND and WHERE THE SIDEWALK ENDS. Again, there is little of the formalistic style that you normally think of associated with film noir to be found in this work, more evident as I see more films from the '50s, but it certainly falls into the narrative framework of a criminal protagonist that finds himself in a difficult situation. The films is actually quite engaging. I don't know much about Robert Taylor, but he was effective as the rogue cop, and the more I see of George Raft, the more I want to champion his overlooked work. Janet Leigh is always fine, and Anne Francis was a great blonde bimbo. The skipper was a goon? Say it ain't so.

Judgment: noir

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