SassyFlix | Murder, Inc.

Murder, Inc.

Description

Looking to make money and bolster his street cred, Abe Reles (Peter Falk) goes to work for New York City racketeer Louis "Lepke" Bucholter. Along with fellow thug Bug Workman (Warren Finnerty), Abe uses his ties to married entertainers Joey (Stuart Whitman) and Eadie Collins (May Britt) to close in on a murder target. But after the hit, prosecutor Burton Turkus (Henry Morgan) elicits key testimony from Joey and Eadie, forcing Abe to either accept a jail term or incriminate his dangerous boss.

Reviews

life in the underworld

one of the better gangster movies. peter falk is excellent as abe reles and a solid performance from vincent gardenia as his lawyer. "Murder Inc. gives a real account of the back stabbing that accompanies the underworld.

Pretty good hard-boiled gangster pic

Peter Falk is Abe Reles, a small time gangster turned notorious hitman in this fact-based crime story about the East-coast syndicate and its affiliate "Murder, Inc.", a loosely organised group of killers for hire in the early 1930's. Most of the characters are historic, and the story revolves around attempts to indict mob boss 'Lepke' Buchalter (David J. Stewart) despite disappearing witnesses and corrupt cops. Stuart Whitman plays a singer indebted to Reles who gets pressured into setting up one of the victims and May Britt his lounge act wife, both of whom end up 'knowing too much'. Falk is very good as the quick tempered, street-smart killer (similar to roles played by Joe Pesci decades later) and the rest of the cast is fine albeit in not particularly challenging roles. The films suffers a bit by resembling a late 1950's TV crime show ("Dragnet" (1951) comes to mind), partly because of the occasionally expository voice-overs, partly because of the music, which was scored by Frank DeVol, remembered for many 1960's and 1970's TV themes, and partly because of a number of anachronisms (commented on elsewhere). Despite these minor weaknesses, the film is a good, tough, crime melodrama about an interesting time in the history of organised crime.

Solid

Real life New York gangsters who specialize in murder are portrayed here, even as the DA and his minions try to get the goods on them.

Solid gangster film, thanks mainly to Falk's breakthrough performance. Hollywood of the late 50's and early 60's was enamored with movies and TV based on real life bad guys, as they are here. I expect the big success of The Untouchables (1959-1963) and Capone (1959) contributed greatly to the trend. Anyhow, it's a mostly no-name cast, giving things a less Hollywood look. Plus the photography is about as dour as visuals get. But then things shouldn't be prettified, given the grim subject matter. Okay, that's true except for the blonde knockout May Britt, who never quite made a movie career, but sure looks good here (mostly).

Oddly, there's no noisy shooting with machine guns splattering windows as was common for big time crime films. Instead, guys get dispatched quickly and efficiently, befitting a corporate approach to murder by contract. Note that no one in the film is particularly likable. We may sympathize with Joey and Eadie (Whitman&Britt), but that's about it. Falk as professional killer Abe Reles is scary and convincing as all-get-out. Besides, his short, chunky frame looks nothing like Hollywood.

Over the years, there's been a lot of speculation about Reles flying out of an upper story hotel after turning songbird for the cops. Whether, a cop on mob payroll did it or not, it's pretty clear somebody on the force was in on it, considering how heavily Reles was guarded. Anyhow, it's a solid tough guy movie, with a performance by Falk that brought him to the attention of all Hollywood.

Late Film Noir

Though released in 1960 and therefore in my opinion too late to be considered a true film noir, "Murder, Inc." plays like one, and I can easily see this having come out about a decade earlier, when noirs were in their heyday, with little alteration.

It's based on the true events that led to a crackdown on an organized crime syndicate in Chicago in the 1930s, and specifically a group of hired killers who were employed to wipe out anyone who crime bosses viewed as an adversary. It makes absolutely no effort to recreate period detail, and aside from a few antique cars, looks like it's set in the present day of 1960. Stuart Whitman plays the protagonist, a man whose desperation leads him into a life of crime but whose moral code leaves him feeling conflicted and ultimately leads to him becoming an informer. The film is probably best known today as the one that brought Peter Falk his first of two Oscar nominations for playing one of the hired killers and both friend and foe to Whitman. The film looks cheap and gritty, which serves the material well, but it also feels ragged and undercooked, and not in that enjoyable way that traditional noirs could often be. Especially toward the end, the film feels like its makers lost interest in the movie they were making and decided to abruptly wrap things up just so they could be done with it.

One of the best true mob stories ever filmed!

Warning: Spoilers

I first saw this movie as part of a double bill (to be honest I forget the name of the other movie)and I had never heard of Peter Falk before but knew the other actors but every bodies attention was drawn to Falk s masterful performance as Abe ''Kid Twist''Reles was so scary that he totally dominated every scene he was in {.And to be honest in my opinion he should have won The Best Supporting Actor !It was a truly magnificent role that showed just how truly talented a performer he was And of course he showed how great he was in 'A Pocketful Of Miracles''''Robin & The Seven Hoods''The Great Race'' and of course as Lt.Columbo He was indeed a very talented and gifted actor/Thank you Peter Falk !