The Naked Street (1955)

Passed   |    |  Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

The Naked Street (1955) Poster

A mobster (Quinn) springs a condemned murderer (Granger) because he got his sister (Bancroft) pregnant.

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17 August 2012 | Michael_Elliott
Light Story but the Actors Are Great
The Naked Street (1955)

*** (out of 4)

Gangster Phil Regal (Anthony Quinn) finds out that his younger sister Rosalie (Anne Bancroft) is pregnant by criminal Nicky Bradna (Farley Granger) who just happens to be at Sing Sing and on death row. Regal manages to scare the witnesses who change their testimony and Nicky is released but soon the gangster regrets what he did. THE NAKED STREET seems to have mostly negative reviews and while I can admit that the film has some major flaws, the cast is simply so great that it's impossible not to get caught up in everything going on and in the end I really enjoyed the picture. There's no question that the story itself is pretty far-fetched in the way the gangster is able to pull a man off death row and it's even more far-fetched when you come to the climax of everything. I won't spoil what happens but the logic behind it is set at a zero. Another problem is that the sister character was really poorly written and her dumbness really gets annoying after a while. I mean, her brother is a big time gangster yet she never realized how he gave her everything with having a "real" job? The morals of her character also goes back and forth as the film moves along, which is another problem. Outside of those things I thought the film was entertaining. Quinn is wonderful as the tough gangster who isn't afraid to push people around to get what he wants. For 1955 his performance is pretty raw and rough and it really reminded me of the stuff we used to see from the pre-code Warner gangster pics of the early 1930s. Granger is also very believable as the lover boy who simply got caught up in a bad crime. Even though her character is weak, Bancroft at least delivers a fine performance as does Peter Graves who plays a reporter. I also really liked how the Quinn character worries about his sister being pregnant, unmarried and what this would make her look like. The moral worries of a gangster was an interesting touch and it's handled in a rather raw fashion, which certainly wasn't normal for this era. THE NAKED STREET has some issues but for the most part it's worth watching.

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