SAL MINEO MOVIE REVIEW
CRIME IN THE STREETS
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Two rival street gangs are fighting. Not with their fists, but withboards with nails, knives, and broken beer bottles.
A bottle smashes over a kid's head, and he turns to give a dazed look at the camera beforefalling, as we see it is Sal, and the credits roll!
That is how this violent, gritty film opens. John Cassavetes plays Frankie, the leader of a vicious street gang. Sal Mineo is Angelo, a. k. a. Babe, the youngest member of the group. After the gang fight, one of the rival kids is left behind, so Frankie and the gang decide the beat the pulp out of him. A neighbour across the street witnesses the entire scene, and reports it to the police. Outraged, Frankie decides to MURDER the snitch, with the help of his followers. Only, the gang goes soft, and refuses to help. .
So, Frankie manipulates young Angelo to help take the old man out, along with one
other thug who sticks around. . . Only, it isn't going to be as easy as Frankie
thinks: His 8 year old brother accidentally hears them talking, and tells a friendly
neighbourhood detective, played by James Whitmore. The detective is determined
to help Frankie from ruining his life. Angelo's father is also concerned, as he
knows Angelo is going down the wrong path. And tries desperately to get through
to his only son.
Frankie's mom is frantic to help her troubled son, but works all night at a diner, a single parent, and Frankie could care less. He is concerned with one thing. . . BEING TOUGH.
Director, Don Siegel ("Invasion of the body snatchers", "Dirty Harry") directs this gripping, realistic film, shot entirely on sound stages built exclusively for this production.
Mineo delivers an excellent performance, and the ending will keep you on the edge of your seat!
An excellent film, although dated a bit, but still delivers a knock-out punch! Another hard to find Mineo classic, so if you get the chance, WATCH IT!