YouTube Noir — Noirvember Day 4: New York Confidential (1955)

I frequently find myself talking about how this noir is one of my favorites, and how that one is on my top 10 list. But I can’t help it – there’re so many noirs to love! And today’s YouTube noir is one of them.

Incredibly underrated, New York Confidential (1955) is simply great, in my estimation. It opens with a voice-over narration about the city of New York, informing us that it’s not only the heart of the financial world, but it’s also the nerve center of an organization that controls crime throughout the country. As the film begins, we’re thrust right into the middle of the action, with a drive-by shooting on the city’s streets. And the film doesn’t let up until the grim, noir-perfect end.

I fell in love with this film the first time I was lucky enough to find it on VHS. Back then, it seemed like I was the only person who knew about it – and even though my copy was lousy, you can bet I watched it over and over again. It’s got a great story, first-rate writing, and outstanding performances from a huge cast that includes Broderick Crawford, Richard Conte, Anne Bancroft, J. Carroll Naish, Marilyn Maxwell, Mike Mazurki, Barry Kelley, and Celia Lovsky.

WHAT’S IT ABOUT?

Broderick Crawford is Charlie Lupo, the head of a highly organized New York crime syndicate that, as we learn in the film’s opening, runs a wide variety of criminal enterprises, including drugs, the waterfronts, and gambling.

Richard Conte, as always, is cooler than the other side of the pillow.

Lupo’s circle includes Nick Magellan (Conte), a top-notch killer he hires from Chicago; his faithful right-hand man Ben Dagajanian (Naish); and his daughter, Kathy (Bancroft), who knows all about her father’s “business” and despises him for it. 

The film doesn’t have a plot as much as it does a character study of an organized crime family – its rise and fall.

WHAT ELSE?

Everything’s better with Mike Mazurki.

New York Confidential was written by Clarence Greene and Russell Rouse, who also collaborated on D.O.A. (1949), Wicked Woman (1953), and Pillow Talk (1959). Rouse was also the film’s director.

Charlie Lupo lives with his mother, played by Celia Lovsky. Lovsky was married from 1934 to 1945 to actor Peter Lorre, and the two remained friends until Lorre’s death.

TOMORROW . . .

Join me for my next YouTube recommendation on Day 5 of Noirvember!

~ by shadowsandsatin on November 4, 2020.

5 Responses to “YouTube Noir — Noirvember Day 4: New York Confidential (1955)”

  1. A character study for the ages. Anne Bancroft’s “Kathy” is fascinating and heartbreaking.
    Note: I have a feeling YouTube will be better quality than my copy.
    https://www.caftanwoman.com/2016/08/the-film-noir-blogathon-new-york.html

  2. Ooh – a crime family character study. I really like the sounds of this one.

  3. Nice post! Thank you for the recommendation! I know I’ve seen this one before, but I feel I’m confusing it with other film noirs! It’s a great excuse to watch it again!

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