The Mob (1951)
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.