The Miami Story (1954)

75-76 mins | Drama | May 1954

Director:

Fred F. Sears

Writer:

Robert E. Kent

Producer:

Sam Katzman

Cinematographer:

Henry Freulich

Editor:

Viola Lawrence

Production Designer:

Paul Palmentola

Production Company:

Clover Productions, Inc.
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HISTORY

After the opening credits, Florida Senator George Smathers appears onscreen to introduce The Miami Story , describing the film as based upon facts. According to reviews, Smathers was part of the U. S. Senate's Kefauver Committee, which investigated organized crime. A LAT news item indicates that George Raft was considered for the role of "Mick Flagg." For more information on the Kefauver Committee, please see the entry for Twentieth Century-Fox's 1951 production The Kefauver Crime Investigation (see ... More Less

After the opening credits, Florida Senator George Smathers appears onscreen to introduce The Miami Story , describing the film as based upon facts. According to reviews, Smathers was part of the U. S. Senate's Kefauver Committee, which investigated organized crime. A LAT news item indicates that George Raft was considered for the role of "Mick Flagg." For more information on the Kefauver Committee, please see the entry for Twentieth Century-Fox's 1951 production The Kefauver Crime Investigation (see below). More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
10 Apr 1954.
---
Daily Variety
31 Mar 54
p. 3.
Film Daily
11 May 54
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Nov 53
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
31 Mar 54
p. 3.
Los Angeles Times
6 Nov 1953.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
10 Apr 54
p. 2254.
New York Times
15 May 54
p. 13.
Variety
31 Mar 54
p. 6.
DETAILS
Release Date:
May 1954
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 14 May 1954
Production Date:
12 November--19 November 1953
Copyright Claimant:
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
30 March 1954
Copyright Number:
LP3554
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
75-76
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
16867
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In post-World War II America, a rise in gangster activity prompts the formation of an investigative committee by the U.S. Senate, forcing many criminals to flee to the safety of the tourist-filled and ineffectually policed Miami. When two Cuban gangsters are gunned down upon arrival at Miami's airport by gangster boss Tony Brill's right-hand man, Ted Delacorte, and police chief Martin Belman is unable to secure an indictment, journalist Charles Earnshaw summons several prominent Miami businessmen for assistance. The men are dubious about stopping Brill's ruthless criminal machine, until attorney Frank Alton suggests a plan. Twelve years earlier, Alton defended a gangster, Mick Flagg, against a murder charge and proved him innocent. Flagg went straight after the trial and into hiding. Alton suggests Mick's past would allow him to get inside Brill's organization and the group agrees to locate Mick. Earnshaw then publishes a nationwide column that recounts Mick's criminal past, which is discovered by Mick, who is residing many states away under the name Mike Pierce with his young son Gil. When Mick confronts the local newspaper editor about running the piece, he is told about Earnshaw's request. Mick drops Gil off with some friends in northern Florida, then continues to Miami, where he meets with Alton, Earnshaw and the others. Mick initially declines the group's request, believing it too dangerous, until Alton reveals that Brill was responsible for framing Mick for murder. Realizing that Brill has reigned unchecked all these years, Mick decides to set himself up as a rival crime boss returning to America from Cuba. Mick asks to be assigned Cuban police as his "gang," and has a former member ... +


In post-World War II America, a rise in gangster activity prompts the formation of an investigative committee by the U.S. Senate, forcing many criminals to flee to the safety of the tourist-filled and ineffectually policed Miami. When two Cuban gangsters are gunned down upon arrival at Miami's airport by gangster boss Tony Brill's right-hand man, Ted Delacorte, and police chief Martin Belman is unable to secure an indictment, journalist Charles Earnshaw summons several prominent Miami businessmen for assistance. The men are dubious about stopping Brill's ruthless criminal machine, until attorney Frank Alton suggests a plan. Twelve years earlier, Alton defended a gangster, Mick Flagg, against a murder charge and proved him innocent. Flagg went straight after the trial and into hiding. Alton suggests Mick's past would allow him to get inside Brill's organization and the group agrees to locate Mick. Earnshaw then publishes a nationwide column that recounts Mick's criminal past, which is discovered by Mick, who is residing many states away under the name Mike Pierce with his young son Gil. When Mick confronts the local newspaper editor about running the piece, he is told about Earnshaw's request. Mick drops Gil off with some friends in northern Florida, then continues to Miami, where he meets with Alton, Earnshaw and the others. Mick initially declines the group's request, believing it too dangerous, until Alton reveals that Brill was responsible for framing Mick for murder. Realizing that Brill has reigned unchecked all these years, Mick decides to set himself up as a rival crime boss returning to America from Cuba. Mick asks to be assigned Cuban police as his "gang," and has a former member of Brill's mob sprung from jail to glean inside information about Brill's organization. Earnshaw then runs an article on Mick, building up his phony criminal activities in Cuba, which, as expected, Brill and Delacorte read. The piece is also read by Holly Abbott, who is linked with the two murdered Cuban victims, and, armed, Holly confronts Mick in his hotel room. Holly asks why she never heard of Mick in Cuba, but Mick gets the gun away from her and demands an explanation. Holly reveals that she was in Cuba looking for her older sister Gwen, whom she then traced to Miami. Unknown to Holly and Mick, Gwen is Brill's girl friend. Suspicious that Holly may be a plant sent by Brill, Mick takes her to Brill's casino, the Biscayne Club. Spotting Mick and Holly at the card table, Brill summons him and has Holly watched. Mick warns Brill of his intention to move in on his activities, but the gangster scoffs. Later, Mick moves Holly from her hotel and places her under the protection of Cuban Lt. Martinez. The next day, under Brill's orders, Gwen visits Holly, who is initially ecstatic to be reunited with her sister. Holly grows disappointed, however, when she learns of Gwen's involvement with Brill. The following day, while Mick meets with Alton, Chief Belman and the others to request that they close the Biscayne Club under any pretense, Holly and Martinez are severely beaten as a threat to Mick. That evening, the Biscayne club is raided and closed down, and Mick contacts Brill and links the club's closure with the assault on Holly. Brill sends Delacorte to cash the casino checks, but Mick intercepts him and plants doubt in his mind about Brill's faith in him. Mick informs Delacorte of his plan to do away with Brill and offers him the chance to run Miami if he agrees to kill Brill. When the men stop at a gas station, Mick sees newspaper headlines declaring that Gil has been kidnapped. Delacorte insists that he knows nothing of the kidnapping, so Mick calls Brill, who reveals that Gil will be released when the Biscayne is reopened and Mick has returned to Cuba. Mick informs Belman and they arrange to have the Biscayne set up with secretly placed television cameras. Holly asks Gwen to the hospital, where she pleads with her to reveal Gil's whereabouts. When Gwen refuses, Mick turns her over to the police for running a prostitution ring. Mick then asks Belman to allow Brill to escape the police cordon around the Biscayne, hoping he will lead him to Gil. That evening the Biscayne reopens, but Brill's satisfaction is cut short by Delacorte's arrival and threat to kill his boss. The television cameras record Delacorte's confession that he murdered the Cubans at Brill's request, and Brill's admission of several crimes. When Delacorte at last shoots Brill, however, he discovers that his gun which was given to him by Mick, is filled with blanks. Brill and Delacorte escape in a speed boat, but are pursued by Mick and the police. They soon realize that Brill is heading for his yacht and arrive there first. Brill immediately surrenders, and Delacorte attempts to escape but is ultimately captured by Mick. Gil is discovered safe, and he and Mick return to their former life, along with Holly, who completes their family. +

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.