The Human Jungle (1954)

82 mins | Drama | 3 October 1954

Director:

Joseph Newman

Producer:

Hayes Goetz

Cinematographer:

Ellis W. Carter

Editor:

Samuel Fields

Production Designer:

David Milton

Production Company:

Allied Artists Pictures Corp.
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HISTORY

This film's working title was The Police Story . The CBCS adds Dan Ullman to the screenplay credits, but his name is not included in other sources. A television adaptation of the film, starring Dennis O'Keefe and Joan Vohs, appeared on Lux Video Theatre on 20 Oct ... More Less

This film's working title was The Police Story . The CBCS adds Dan Ullman to the screenplay credits, but his name is not included in other sources. A television adaptation of the film, starring Dennis O'Keefe and Joan Vohs, appeared on Lux Video Theatre on 20 Oct 1955. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
18 Sep 1954.
---
Daily Variety
14 Sep 54
p. 3.
Film Daily
22 Sep 54
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
11 June 1954
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Jul 1954
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Sep 54
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
18 Sep 54
p. 145.
New York Times
26 Nov 54
p. 24.
Variety
15 Sep 54
p. 6.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Joe Turkel
Leo T. Cleary
Shirley Rickert
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
ART DIRECTOR
FILM EDITORS
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
SOUND
MAKEUP
Makeup
Hairdresser
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
Set cont
SOURCES
SONGS
"It Ain't Gonna Be You," words and music by Max Rich.
COMPOSER
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
The Police Story
Release Date:
3 October 1954
Premiere Information:
World premiere in New Orleans: 28 September 1954
Los Angeles opening: 29 September 1954
Production Date:
early June--early July 1954
Copyright Claimant:
Allied Artists Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
26 September 1954
Copyright Number:
LP4055
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Black and White
Widescreen/ratio
1.85:1
Duration(in mins):
82
Length(in feet):
7,370
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

Police Captain John “Danny” Danforth, who had intended to leave the police force in three months to become a lawyer, requests permission from Police Chief Abe Rowan to resign immediately as he has a job offer. Rowan is in the midst of an investigation of the murder of a striptease dancer in the city’s notorious, crime-ridden Jefferson Heights area. Rowan tells Danny that they can discuss his request as they drive to the Heights’ precinct station. Once there, however, they observe a poorly run, demoralized crew being supervised by the aging Capt. Marty Harrison. Danny tells Rowan, who is under great pressure from city officials to clean up the neighborhood, that the precinct is "dead on its feet" and needs a total reorganization. Rowan then suggests that Danny take over the precinct, pointing out that the ensuing publicity could help launch his law career. Danny declines, but Rowan rejects his resignation and assigns him to the job. At home, Danny explains to his worried wife Pat that the job will be for three months only and convinces her to be patient. When Danny takes over the precinct, he regards the solving of the dancer’s murder as the primary focus of his plan to rid the neighborhood of criminal elements. After jolting the precinct’s crew out of their complacency, Danny works with detective Bob Geddes, his second-in-command, on the murder case. Geddes interrogates suspect Earl Swados, a boyfriend of the murdered woman, but has to release him when Swados states that another stripper, Mary Abbott, can provide an alibi for him. After Danny fights with detective Lannigan over Lannigan's drinking on the job, Danny demotes the detective to walking ... +


Police Captain John “Danny” Danforth, who had intended to leave the police force in three months to become a lawyer, requests permission from Police Chief Abe Rowan to resign immediately as he has a job offer. Rowan is in the midst of an investigation of the murder of a striptease dancer in the city’s notorious, crime-ridden Jefferson Heights area. Rowan tells Danny that they can discuss his request as they drive to the Heights’ precinct station. Once there, however, they observe a poorly run, demoralized crew being supervised by the aging Capt. Marty Harrison. Danny tells Rowan, who is under great pressure from city officials to clean up the neighborhood, that the precinct is "dead on its feet" and needs a total reorganization. Rowan then suggests that Danny take over the precinct, pointing out that the ensuing publicity could help launch his law career. Danny declines, but Rowan rejects his resignation and assigns him to the job. At home, Danny explains to his worried wife Pat that the job will be for three months only and convinces her to be patient. When Danny takes over the precinct, he regards the solving of the dancer’s murder as the primary focus of his plan to rid the neighborhood of criminal elements. After jolting the precinct’s crew out of their complacency, Danny works with detective Bob Geddes, his second-in-command, on the murder case. Geddes interrogates suspect Earl Swados, a boyfriend of the murdered woman, but has to release him when Swados states that another stripper, Mary Abbott, can provide an alibi for him. After Danny fights with detective Lannigan over Lannigan's drinking on the job, Danny demotes the detective to walking a beat. Danny then orders all the officers to crack down on criminals and states that he will back up any officer who needs to use force. Later, Danny interviews Mary about Swados' alibi, and learns that she works at a club called The Hut. After his officers close down gambling dens and arrest fences and petty criminals, Danny wins the support of the district attorney and his men become more enthusiastic about their jobs. The crackdowns reveal that most of the illegal activities in the area are controlled by the dapper, older Leonard Ustick, who regards himself as a “small-business man.” Swados and another thug, George Mandy, work for Ustick. After Danny visits The Hut and unsuccessfully tries to convince Mary to cooperate with the police, he reassigns the now contrite Lannigan to work undercover at the club and entrap Mary in a prostitution sting. Although she is arrested and booked for prostitution, the embittered Mary refuses to provide evidence about Sawdos and Ustick. Danny’s plans are disrupted when detective Strauss is walking home one night and spots a robbery in progress. Strauss shoots at the getaway car and accidentally kills an innocent passerby, causing protests from the citizenry. However, Danny continues his focus on the murder case, picks up Swados again and bluffs him that Mary has retracted her alibi and is cooperating with information about the club and Ustick. At first, Swados does not believe him, but becomes scared when threatened with the electric chair. Danny then frees Swados, but has him followed. When Ustick meets with Swados, he assures him that he will get Mary released from jail and derail Danny's investigation. Following Ustick's orders, Mandy pays three teenage toughs to be beaten up by The Hut’s bartender, then claim that the injuries were suffered while they were in police custody. Later, at a police board of enquiry, Ustick’s lawyer accuses Danny of ordering the boys beaten, fabricating evidence and being responsible for the slaying of the passerby. Pat suggests to Danny that they could begin his law career in another city, but he refuses to leave. Geddes tells Danny that Ustick’s lawyer has arranged Mary’s release and that Swados, who thinks she has double-crossed him, has been seen loitering outside her apartment building. When Geddes states that Mary needs protection or relocation to another state, Danny rejects that and is willing to risk Mary's life and have Swados confront her. Although Geddes and Pat disagree with him, Danny is convinced that, with full police surveillance, his plan will work. After setting up recording devices in the apartment next to Mary’s, Danny’s plan is foiled when Swados leaves a message with the apartment house manager, luring Mary to a party. She takes a taxi to the party’s address while Danny and Lannigan follow and Geddes summons additional officers. The taxi drops Mary off at a brewery, where Swados is waiting to kill her. He chases her through the brewery, but is followed by Danny and Lannigan, who save Mary. Danny then pursues Swados to the brewery’s roof where, as several squad cars arrive, he panics, surrenders and promises to expose Ustick’s rackets. As Danny then wants to go home to Pat, he asks Geddes to take Swados’ statement, but assures him that he will be back on the job in the morning and that he will be staying there for the foreseeable future.
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Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.