THE GANGSTERS ALL HERE Live Tweet movie for Sat., Oct. 17: Broderick Crawford in THE MOB (1951)

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This week, Broderick Crawford joins our The Gangsters All Here Rogue Gallery. The Mob stars Crawford as Johnny Damico, a tough-skinned cop who, for spoiler reasons I won’t go into here, goes undercover to infiltrate a waterfront crime ring. Waterfront corruption was a rich vein of storylines for Columbia Pictures to mine — it earned movie immortality for Marlon Brando three years later in On the Waterfront — but Crawford definitely makes the territory his own. Add fine supporting work from Ernest Borgnine, Richard Kiley, and John Marley (two decades before his menacing role in The Godfather), and how can you lose?

(CORRECTION: Last week, I mistakenly touted our weekly movie entry, Machine Gun Kelly, as Charles Bronson’s movie debut. In fact, Bronson has a walk-on role here as a waterfront worker, and he had several years of movie work behind him by the time he did Machine Gun Kelly, which was actually Bronson’s starring debut. My apologies.) 

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On a scale of 1 to 5 fannies, this movie rates an on-the-nose 5. Despite contemporary reviews that dismissed The Mob as just another shoot-’em-up, this one has it all. There are gritty action scenes, nail-biting suspense, and best of all, Broderick Crawford in a role that shows his softer side along with his well-known gruffiness. You won’t want to miss this one!

THE GANGSTERS ALL HERE Live Tweet movie for Sat., Oct. 10: Charles Bronson in MACHINE-GUN KELLY (1958)

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To The Gangsters All Here Rogues Gallery of Walter Matthau, Steve McQueen, Dick Powell, James Cagney, and Hugh Beaumont, we now add Charles Bronson! In his first starring role, Bronson plays the title role of George “Machine-Gun” Kelly, a tough-talking, fist-waving gangster who nevertheless shrinks at the sight of any symbols of death. Kelly can spit out some neat lead with his Thompson gat, but just wave your poison-icon tattoo at him and he shrinks like a little kid!

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On a scale of 1 to 5 fannies, I rate this movie a 3. It’s not a perfect gangster movie, but it has enough disparate elements to keep you fascinated, not the least of which is a crazily incongruous score by “Gilligan’s Island” composer Gerald Fried. And where else will you get the chance to see Charles Bronson and “The Dick Van Dyke Show’s” Morey Amsterdam share scenes in a movie?