The Gangster (1947)

82-83 mins | Film noir | 22 November 1947

Director:

Gordon Wiles

Writer:

Daniel Fuchs

Producers:

Maurice King, Frank King

Cinematographer:

Paul Ivano

Editor:

Walter Thompson

Production Designer:

F. Paul Sylos

Production Company:

Allied Artists Productions, Inc.
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HISTORY

This film's working title was Low Company (The Story of Shubunka) . The character "Shubunka" provides a spoken prologue and epilogue. Art director Gordon Wiles made his directorial debut in the film. HR news items add the following information about the production: In mid-Dec 1946, Wiles replaced director Edward Blatt , who left the picture because of scheduling conflicts. Leo Carrillo was cast in a role, but did not appear in the completed film. Shortly before principal photography was to begin, actress Belita was suspended from the film after she objected to the fact that Barry Sullivan was to be billed above her. Allied accused Belita of planting publicity stories claiming that the studio was forcing her to wear an indecent costume and had banned her husband, Joel McGinnis, from the set. By early Feb 1947, however, the dispute was settled and Belita returned to the production. Sullivan was billed above Belita in the final onscreen credits. Allied borrowed photographer Paul Ivano from Universal for the production. HR news items add Will Orlean and Diane Lee Stewart to the cast, but their appearance in the completed film has not been confirmed.
       Although the exact nature of Shubunka's rackets is not revealed in the story, according to memos in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, Breen Office representatives got the "unmistakable impression that he is the operator of a chain of brothels." All references to prostitution were omitted from the final film. Although the Breen Office maintained that "Shubunka's" financial support of "Nancy" was an "inescapable inference of an illicit sex affair between the two," the inference remained in the ... More Less

This film's working title was Low Company (The Story of Shubunka) . The character "Shubunka" provides a spoken prologue and epilogue. Art director Gordon Wiles made his directorial debut in the film. HR news items add the following information about the production: In mid-Dec 1946, Wiles replaced director Edward Blatt , who left the picture because of scheduling conflicts. Leo Carrillo was cast in a role, but did not appear in the completed film. Shortly before principal photography was to begin, actress Belita was suspended from the film after she objected to the fact that Barry Sullivan was to be billed above her. Allied accused Belita of planting publicity stories claiming that the studio was forcing her to wear an indecent costume and had banned her husband, Joel McGinnis, from the set. By early Feb 1947, however, the dispute was settled and Belita returned to the production. Sullivan was billed above Belita in the final onscreen credits. Allied borrowed photographer Paul Ivano from Universal for the production. HR news items add Will Orlean and Diane Lee Stewart to the cast, but their appearance in the completed film has not been confirmed.
       Although the exact nature of Shubunka's rackets is not revealed in the story, according to memos in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, Breen Office representatives got the "unmistakable impression that he is the operator of a chain of brothels." All references to prostitution were omitted from the final film. Although the Breen Office maintained that "Shubunka's" financial support of "Nancy" was an "inescapable inference of an illicit sex affair between the two," the inference remained in the picture. The Breen Office also objected to "Cornell" and his men getting off "scot free," and the ending was changed for the final film. A 6 Mar 1947 Breen office memo claimed that on a "recent occasion" the King Brothers were heard "making loud, unpleasant boasts that, because they had money, they could push things past the Breen Office and were making it known, either directly or by inference that questionable material could have its way bought through the PCA."
       As recorded in a memo on 23 Jul 1947, the Breen Office tried to persuade the King Brothers to change the film's title, but they refused on the grounds that they had "no [Ingrid] Bergmans or [Clark] Gables" and had to use "rather sensational titles to interest the public in their product." Leif Erickson replaced Hardie Albright in the role of "Beaumont," according to PCA files. In May 1947, HR announced that the picture was being dubbed into French and Spanish. In Feb 1954, the film was re-released by Allied Artists with the 1945 Monogram film Dillinger (see above). More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
4 Oct 1947.
---
Daily Variety
29 Sep 47
p. 3, 5
Film Daily
6 Oct 47
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Dec 46
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Dec 46
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
2 Jan 47
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Jan 47
p. 16.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Jan 47
p. 18.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Jan 47
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Feb 47
p. 18.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Feb 47
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Feb 47
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Feb 47
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Mar 47
p. 18.
Hollywood Reporter
23 May 47
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Sep 47
p. 3, 4
Hollywood Reporter
3 Nov 47
p. 10, 16
Independent Film Journal
1 Mar 47
p. 44.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
4 Oct 1947.
---
New York Times
31 Oct 47
p. 29.
Variety
1 Oct 47
p. 14.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A King Brothers Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Prod
WRITER
Orig scr, Orig scr
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
Cost des
MUSIC
Mus score
Mus cond
SOUND
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec photog eff
MAKEUP
Makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
Asst to prod
Dial coach
Tech adv
Casting asst
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Low Company by Daniel Fuchs (New York, 1937).
AUTHOR
SONGS
"Paradise," words and music by Gordon Clifford and Nacio Herb Brown.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Low Company (The Story of Shubunka)
Release Date:
22 November 1947
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 30 October 1947
Production Date:
early February--mid March 1947
Copyright Claimant:
Allied Artists Productions, Inc.
Copyright Date:
22 November 1947
Copyright Number:
LP1413
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
82-83
Country:
United States
PCA No:
12424
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

On Neptune Beach in New York City, racketeer Shubunka owns a soda fountain shop, which is run by Nick Jammey. Racketeer Cornell and his gang plan to take over all of Shubunka's rackets and force Jammey to meet with them. Although Shubunka's girl friend, Nancy Starr, a show girl, is genuinely in love with him, Shubunka's paranoia about Cornell causes him to fly into a rage against her. Meanwhile, weak-minded accountant Frank Karty, a regular at the soda shop who compulsively bets on horses, begs Shubunka to lend him some money or let him in on one of his rackets, but Shubunka refuses to help him. Dorothy, the soda shop cashier, quits in disgust at Shubunka's lack of conscience, and he tries to give her $200 as a going away present after refusing Karty the money. Karty's wife later comes into the shop to warn Karty that her brothers are after him for stealing $1,300 from their mechanics garage. Cornell forces Jammey to a lunch meeting in which he orders him to hand over a list of the locations of Shubunka's rackets. Jammey refuses out of loyalty to Shubunka. When Nancy suggests to Shubunka they enjoy a secluded picnic on the beach, and Cornell's men beat him up there, he accuses her of setting him up. One by one Shubunka's connections begin to turn on him. Fearing for his life, Shubunka makes plans to skip town with Nancy, but when she offers to pawn all the expensive gifts he has given her, he becomes determined to fight Cornell by hiring new men to run his rackets. Meanwhile, Karty's wife, who hasn't seen ... +


On Neptune Beach in New York City, racketeer Shubunka owns a soda fountain shop, which is run by Nick Jammey. Racketeer Cornell and his gang plan to take over all of Shubunka's rackets and force Jammey to meet with them. Although Shubunka's girl friend, Nancy Starr, a show girl, is genuinely in love with him, Shubunka's paranoia about Cornell causes him to fly into a rage against her. Meanwhile, weak-minded accountant Frank Karty, a regular at the soda shop who compulsively bets on horses, begs Shubunka to lend him some money or let him in on one of his rackets, but Shubunka refuses to help him. Dorothy, the soda shop cashier, quits in disgust at Shubunka's lack of conscience, and he tries to give her $200 as a going away present after refusing Karty the money. Karty's wife later comes into the shop to warn Karty that her brothers are after him for stealing $1,300 from their mechanics garage. Cornell forces Jammey to a lunch meeting in which he orders him to hand over a list of the locations of Shubunka's rackets. Jammey refuses out of loyalty to Shubunka. When Nancy suggests to Shubunka they enjoy a secluded picnic on the beach, and Cornell's men beat him up there, he accuses her of setting him up. One by one Shubunka's connections begin to turn on him. Fearing for his life, Shubunka makes plans to skip town with Nancy, but when she offers to pawn all the expensive gifts he has given her, he becomes determined to fight Cornell by hiring new men to run his rackets. Meanwhile, Karty's wife, who hasn't seen Karty in two days, comes looking for him at the soda shop. Despairing, Karty again asks Shubunka for help and is again turned down. Dorothy again upbraids Shubunka for his immoral life, but he becomes that much more determined to fight Cornell. He then discovers that Jammey has turned over the location list to Cornell. When Cornell offers Shubunka a job as a collector, he bitterly turns it down, assuring Jammey that he is still working for him. Cornell warns Shubunka that if he kills Jammey, he will be killed within twenty minutes. Karty is beaten up by his in-laws and promises to return their money, then goes to Jammey, who refuses to steal from Shubunka for him. Karty hits Jammey over the head with a frying pan, and he dies. When Shubunka comes to pick up Nancy, he finds Cornell and his men waiting for him. Shubunka accuses Nancy of setting him up, and she explains that while she loved him in the beginning, his paranoia has now made her hate him. She adds that when Cornell offered her a part on Broadway, she decided to turn Shubunka in. Shubunka later learns that Jammey was murdered, and, terrified that he will be blamed, he seeks refuge in Dorothy's apartment, where she lives with her father. Dorothy tells Shubunka that although Karty has confessed to Jammey's murder, he is really to blame, and that he should be forced to pay for his sins. With nowhere to turn, Shubunka walks into the rainy night, and as he shouts to Cornell that he can "have it all," he is gunned down. Later, Cornell and his gang are apprehended. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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