The Gangster (1947)

Approved   |    |  Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

The Gangster (1947) Poster

Shubunka (Barry Sulivan) is a cynical gangster who controls the Neptune Beach waterfront. He runs a numbers racket with the local soda shop owner. The police are in his pocket and the local hoods are on his payroll.


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30 September 2018 | clore_2
| Is this a hallucinatory dream?
I'm not convinced that we're seeing a straight-forward crime story with THE GANGSTER. It's practically an opium dream. He goes to the beach in a suit and tie and Elisha Cook comes along with a cohort and Cook keeps yapping about how he's going to knock Sullivan down - the 12-inch disparity in height makes this laughable.

Shubunka, Jammey, Karty - these names are so precious. Note the stylized sets - the hotel just off the boardwalk that seems about six-feet deep, it stops at the boardwalk. Yet when he runs into the lobby, it's as big as The Waldorf.

Shubunka, the gangster with no gang. He apparently gets his mob from Rent-A-Hood and when he tries to recruit, the potential members all laugh at him. He's big time, but has no money to afford out-of-town hoods. Sheldon Leonard anticipates his every move, yet he needs some silly list of Shubunka's operations. If Shubunka has all of those businesses under his control, why is he in the ice cream parlor all day?

Belita thinks she's a dancer, Ireland has a system to beat the races but he's in dutch with the mob - apparently Shubunka doesn't have the gambling concession on the boardwalk so Ireland goes to him for the money he owes since his fool-proof plan didn't work. Harry Morgan thinks he a stud and Fifi D'Orsay thinks she's a Goddess. The only one who knows his place is Tamiroff and he's smart enough to be scared but too dumb to have cut his ties with Shubunka sooner.

Lest you think I'm being negative, I'm not. It all seems as if Sullivan is hallucinating about his life and all of the characters are exaggerated, including himself. It's fascinating to watch.

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