Little did Columbia Pictures know that Broderick Crawford could and would be a viable leading man for them as the 1950’s approached. With his Oscar turn in All The King’s Men, Columbia had a character actor on their hands that they could sell in leading roles if they could keep scripts coming in that worked for him. Born Yesterday was a sure thing and from there tough guy roles seemed a good fit.
The Mob was a b/w 1951 release that surrounded him was some tough looking hoods lead by Ernest Borgnine and Neville Brand. Ernie was just starting out as was Neville and tough hoodlum roles fit Brand like a glove. Plot wise it’s all taking place on the docks and Broderick goes undercover in his search for a killer not knowing where the trail may lead him. Two faces he comes into contact with are dock workers John Marley of Godfather fame and in his first year in film Charles Buchinski (Bronson)in a minor role. At 87 minutes novice director Robert Parrish keeps things moving along briskly from a script by William Bowers who the previous year had wrote Gregory Peck’s first rate western The Gunfighter. Crawford would appear in a slate of films for Columbia over the next few years and be paired effectively opposite Columbia favorite Glenn Ford a number of times in both noir and western theme pictures.
As for The Mob, this is a solid effort by all and looking back fairly violent for it’s day. Worth checking out just to see WW II veteran Neville Brand act tough. In real life I suspect he probably was.
Hi, Mike! Welcome to the blogosphere! I look forward to reading all your stuff. Of course, I had to start with The Mob — I love Broderick Crawford and really enjoyed this seldom-seen noir. I haven’t seen it in years — I think it’s time for a re-watch!
Glad to have checking out my daily take and feel free to stop in any time. The Mob is a solid Crawford film. He had a really good run in the 1950’s.
this is a great one, and I love the various henchman & bit part combos that we get, of Neville Brand and Bronson here, but also Elam, Van Cleef, and so forth in other noirs. They just made any movie that much better, and were always real convincing.
It’s always the character actors that come shining thru in so many genre’s and Elam is always a good one to mention. Strother Martin is another of my faves but then I have so many…..