The Naked Street (1955)

83-84 mins | Drama | August 1955

Director:

Maxwell Shane

Producer:

Edward Small

Cinematographer:

Floyd Crosby

Editor:

Grant Whytock

Production Designer:

Edward S. Haworth

Production Company:

Fame Pictures, Inc.
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HISTORY

The working titles of this film were The Big Frame , The Rap , The Brass Ring and The Mobster . Although James Flavin’s character is listed as “Michael J. Flanders” in the closing credits, he is called “Michael X. Flanders” in the film. According to an 11 Jul 1949 HR news item, and information in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, Twentieth Century-Fox first owned the rights to Leo Katcher’s original story, and planned for Maxwell Shane to write the screenplay, as well as direct and produce the film. On 11 Jul 1949, LAEx reported that Richard Widmark would star in the picture. In a 9 Jun 1949 letter to Fox, PCA director Joseph Breen advised the studio that the story was unacceptable and would not be approved. Breen cited “a twice-performed perversion of justice, illicit sex and adultery…excessive details of crime and gangsterism and the justification of revenge in modern times” as reasons why the screenplay could not be approved.
       Although Shane was able to rewrite the screenplay to Breen’s satisfaction, Fox apparently dropped the project, and in a 12 Oct 1954 HR news item, independent producer Edward Small announced that he would be producing the project and was hoping to secure Humphrey Bogart and Tony Curtis for “the top roles as father and son.” According to an 8 Feb 1955 HR news item, Richard Reeves was originially set for the role of “Big Eddie,” but was delayed due to another production and was replaced by John Dennis. HR news items include singer Meg Myles and actor Sid Melton in the ... More Less

The working titles of this film were The Big Frame , The Rap , The Brass Ring and The Mobster . Although James Flavin’s character is listed as “Michael J. Flanders” in the closing credits, he is called “Michael X. Flanders” in the film. According to an 11 Jul 1949 HR news item, and information in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, Twentieth Century-Fox first owned the rights to Leo Katcher’s original story, and planned for Maxwell Shane to write the screenplay, as well as direct and produce the film. On 11 Jul 1949, LAEx reported that Richard Widmark would star in the picture. In a 9 Jun 1949 letter to Fox, PCA director Joseph Breen advised the studio that the story was unacceptable and would not be approved. Breen cited “a twice-performed perversion of justice, illicit sex and adultery…excessive details of crime and gangsterism and the justification of revenge in modern times” as reasons why the screenplay could not be approved.
       Although Shane was able to rewrite the screenplay to Breen’s satisfaction, Fox apparently dropped the project, and in a 12 Oct 1954 HR news item, independent producer Edward Small announced that he would be producing the project and was hoping to secure Humphrey Bogart and Tony Curtis for “the top roles as father and son.” According to an 8 Feb 1955 HR news item, Richard Reeves was originially set for the role of “Big Eddie,” but was delayed due to another production and was replaced by John Dennis. HR news items include singer Meg Myles and actor Sid Melton in the cast, but they were not seen in the viewed print. Other HR news items include the following actors in the cast, although their appearance in the completed picture has not been confirmed: Syl Lamont, John Goddard, Dick Ryan, Tom Jackson , Johnny Clark, Bob Dulaine, Tony De Mario, Peggy Leon, Bob Morgan, Paul Stader, Frances Osborne, Connie Hilton, Marilyn Dialon, Joey Ray, Jack Kenny and Norman Sailing.
       On 17 Mar 1955, HR noted that Small authorized Shane to write an additional action sequence for the picture and added $50,000 to the budget. A number of actors new to the production, including Lee Van Cleef, were then signed for the picture. Portions of the picture were shot on location in New York City. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
20 Aug 1955.
---
Daily Variety
12 Aug 55
p. 3.
Film Daily
18 Aug 55
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Jul 1949
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Oct 1954
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Dec 1954
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Jan 1955
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Feb 1955
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
4 Feb 1955
p. 6, 13.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Feb 1955
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Feb 1955
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Feb 1955
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Feb 1955
p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Feb 1955
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Feb 1955
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Feb 1955
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Feb 1955
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Mar 1955
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Mar 1955
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
25 Mar 1955
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
10 May 1955
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
31 May 1955
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Aug 55
p. 3.
Los Angeles Examiner
11 Jul 1949.
---
Los Angeles Times
4 Nov 1955.
---
Motion Picture Daily
11 Aug 1955.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
13 Aug 55
p. 554.
New York Times
1 Oct 55
p. 11.
Variety
17 Aug 55
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Dial dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
WRITERS
From a story by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Prop master
COSTUMES
MUSIC
SOUND
Dial ed
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
Scr supv
Tech adv
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
The Brass Ring
The Big Frame
The Rap
The Mobster
Release Date:
August 1955
Production Date:
2 February--late February 1955
mid March--late March 1955 at Samuel Goldwyn Studios
Copyright Claimant:
Fame Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
9 September 1955
Copyright Number:
LP5694
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Black and White
Widescreen/ratio
1.85:1
Duration(in mins):
83-84
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
17495
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

One night in New York City, hoodlums working for syndicate boss Phil Regal murder a loan shark, but witnesses appear before they finish setting the body on fire, and police are able to identify the corpse. The next day, Phil sends the men out of town, then is questioned by New York Chronicle reporter Joe McFarland. Joe asks Phil about the district attorney’s statement that Phil is the “enforcer” for the Brooklyn syndicate, and that witnesses in cases against him have a mysterious habit of changing their stories. Phil, who likes the forthright Joe, tells him that he runs a legitimate personal loan business, then returns to his old Brooklyn home to have Sunday dinner with his mother, Mrs. Regalzyk, and sister Rosalie. On his way to the apartment, Phil is greeted by neighbor Louie, who mentions having seen Rosalie at the doctor’s office. During dinner, Phil asks about the doctor, and Mrs. Regalzyk, recognizing the name as an obstetrician, realizes that Rosalie is pregnant. A furious Phil yells at Rosalie for getting herself “jammed up” despite his attempts to put her through college and provide her with a better life. Phil is even more upset to learn that Rosalie’s lover is Nicky Bradna, a womanizing “punk” who is on death row for the murder of store owner I. Barricks. Even though Nicky is scheduled to die in ten days, Phil is determined to obtain his release so that he can marry Rosalie. With the help of lawyer Michael X. Flanders, Phil presses for a new trial by intimidating the eye-witnesses, Antonio Cardini and Mr. Hough, into recanting their testimony that Nicky is ... +


One night in New York City, hoodlums working for syndicate boss Phil Regal murder a loan shark, but witnesses appear before they finish setting the body on fire, and police are able to identify the corpse. The next day, Phil sends the men out of town, then is questioned by New York Chronicle reporter Joe McFarland. Joe asks Phil about the district attorney’s statement that Phil is the “enforcer” for the Brooklyn syndicate, and that witnesses in cases against him have a mysterious habit of changing their stories. Phil, who likes the forthright Joe, tells him that he runs a legitimate personal loan business, then returns to his old Brooklyn home to have Sunday dinner with his mother, Mrs. Regalzyk, and sister Rosalie. On his way to the apartment, Phil is greeted by neighbor Louie, who mentions having seen Rosalie at the doctor’s office. During dinner, Phil asks about the doctor, and Mrs. Regalzyk, recognizing the name as an obstetrician, realizes that Rosalie is pregnant. A furious Phil yells at Rosalie for getting herself “jammed up” despite his attempts to put her through college and provide her with a better life. Phil is even more upset to learn that Rosalie’s lover is Nicky Bradna, a womanizing “punk” who is on death row for the murder of store owner I. Barricks. Even though Nicky is scheduled to die in ten days, Phil is determined to obtain his release so that he can marry Rosalie. With the help of lawyer Michael X. Flanders, Phil presses for a new trial by intimidating the eye-witnesses, Antonio Cardini and Mr. Hough, into recanting their testimony that Nicky is the killer. Assistant District Attorney Blaker declines to file for a new trial, however, as he realizes that with the perjured testimony of Cardini and Hough, Nicky will go free. Blaker warns Phil that he will get Nicky eventually, but Phil dismisses him and plans Nicky and Rosalie’s wedding. Phil snarls at the grateful Nicky that the only reason he helped him was because Rosalie loves him, and that his duty now is to make Rosalie happy. Convinced by Phil that Nicky was innocent, Rosalie enjoys the wedding. During the reception, Phil overhears Nicky tell a friend that Phil will get him a job in his organization, and Phil tells Nicky that he is going to be an honest truck driver instead. A few weeks later, another murdered man is found and the killing is linked to Phil, although no charges can be substantiated. Because of the case, Joe is assigned to do a story investigating the unsolved gang-related murders in New York. Joe approaches Phil for a quote, and Phil decides to give him a different “angle” by inviting him to Sunday dinner. At the Regalzyks’ apartment, Phil talks about how difficult it was to escape the lower-class neighborhood, and is surprised to learn that Joe went to high school with Rosalie, on whom he had a crush. When Nicky arrives, he caustically comments on the spies Phil has watching him at work. After Phil leaves, Nicky tells Rosalie that he is fed up with Phil’s nagging, but she urges him to be patient. Nicky and Rosalie live happily for a while, but when their baby dies at birth, the grief-stricken couple drift apart. Determined to escape Phil, Nicky arranges the hijacking of the trucks he drives, and splits the money with his pals. Nicky also begins an affair with a barmaid, Margie, and keeps several expensive suits in their apartment. Later, Blaker asks Joe to run a tough exposé of Phil in the hope that some of his confederates, scared of exposure, will seek protection in exchange for testifying against Phil. Before it is published, Joe shows the story to Rosalie, but she refuses to believe that her brother is guilty. Joe warns Rosalie that she has to accept the truth, but she ignores him. Soon after, Phil visits Rosalie, who confesses that Nicky is rarely home, but begs him to give Nicky another chance. One night, Phil runs into Nicky and Margie, however, and the next day, after seeing Rosalie with bruises on her face, decides to get rid of Nicky. Phil orders Nicky’s best friend, Latzi Franks, to help him frame Nicky for murder, then arranges for Nicky to sit in a poker game in which jewelry fence Harry Goldische will be playing. Latzi keeps Nicky at the game for two hours after Harry leaves, during which Harry is killed and evidence framing Nicky is planted in Margie’s apartment. Nicky is arrested and convicted of murdering Harry, and is again sent to Sing Sing’s death row. Three days before he is to die, Nicky sends telegrams to both Joe and Phil, asking them to visit. When Phil arrives, Nicky threatens to tell Joe that Phil intimidated the witnesses in the Barricks case unless Phil obtains his release. Phil refuses, and so Nicky tells Joe the story, which is printed the next morning. Phil orders his henchmen to attack Joe, but despite the beating, Joe writes another story accusing Phil of framing Nicky. Despite Joe’s efforts to help him, Nicky is executed, and Joe takes a tape recording he secretly made of Nicky to Latzi, who is shaken by Nicky’s statement that he does not hold a grudge against his friend. Deciding to confess, Latzi arranges to meet Joe the next day, but is gunned down by Phil’s men. Latzi survives, however, and in the hospital, gives the D.A. enough evidence to order Phil’s arrest. Joe rushes to Mrs. Regalzyk’s apartment to warn Rosalie, but she declares that she cannot turn her back on her brother. While Joe is out, alerting the police that Phil will come to the apartment, Phil arrives and is confronted by Rosalie. Rosalie accuses Phil of allowing her to marry a murderer and of ruining her life, because as the sister of a gangster, she was never able to meet a decent man and lead a productive life. Phil is devastated by Rosalie’s accusations, but their argument is interrupted by Joe, who announces that the police are coming. Rosalie stops Phil from shooting Joe, after which Phil runs to the roof to elude his pursuers. When Phil attempts to jump to the next building, as he did when he was a young boy, he slips and falls to his death. While Joe comforts Rosalie, Mrs. Regalzyk, unaware of what has occurred, passes by the crowd that gathered around her son’s body. +

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

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