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Mobster Movies: The Big Combo/Johnny One-Eye/Kid Monk Baroni/Port of New York [DVD]

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Overview

Special Features

  • Digitally mastered
  • Interactive menus
  • Chapter selections
  • Digitally enhanced audio 5.1

Synopsis

Johnny One-Eye
Johnny One-Eye was adapted from one of Damon Runyon's lesser-known stories. Pat O'Brien and Wayne Morris star as Martin Martin and Dane Cory respectively, former partners in crime who have long since split up. When a new district attorney puts the heat on, Cory, anxious to save his own hide, accuses Martin of an unsolved murder. Holed up in abandoned house, Martin is befriended by a little girl (Gayle Reed) and her dog. It so happens that the girl is the daughter of the crusading DA, and thereby hangs the rest of this tale. Produced by Benedict Bogeaus, Johnny One-Eye co-stars Bogeaus' wife Dolores Moran as a moll named Lily White. The film represented the last directorial assignment of Robert Florey, who retired shortly afterward. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Port of New York
The location-filmed Port of New York might have been forgotten had it not been for one of its leading players. In his first film role, Yul Brynner plays an erudite narcotics smuggler named Paul Vicola. Using a phony yacht club as a front, Vicola conducts a brisk drug trade, making certain that no one will blow the whistle on his operation by casually murdering his couriers. Detectives Walters (Scott Brady) and Flannery (Richard Rober) infiltrate Vicola's gang; one of the cops is killed, but the other manages to see that justice is done. Yul Brynner was so obscure at the time of Port of New York (his only significant credit was Broadway's Lute Song) that one reviewer referred to him as "Yul Brunner." ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Big Combo
Police Lt. Leonard Diamond (Cornel Wilde) is criticized by his superior Capt. Peterson (Robert Middleton) for his obsessive but fruitless investigation of organized crime boss Mr. Brown (Richard Conte). Peterson calls it a waste of the taxpayers' money motivated by Diamond's love for Brown's girlfriend Susan Lowell (Jean Wallace). Watched at all times by henchmen Mingo (Earl Holliman) and Fante (Lee Van Cleef), and masochistically drawn to Brown, Susan is unable to walk away from him. She overdoses on pills in a suicide attempt and, in her delirium, utters the name "Alicia." Diamond follows up on that new lead, and as he gets closer to defeating his adversary, the arrogant and sadistic Brown retaliates by capturing and torturing Diamond. Meanwhile Brown's former boss but now humiliated underling, Joe McClure (Brian Donlevy), believing that Brown has gone too far in his personal vendetta against Diamond, tries to enlist Mingo and Fante in overthrowing him. However, they remain loyal, and, in a chillingly silent scene visually punctuated by flashes of gunfire, they shoot the deaf McClure after Brown removes his hearing aid. Though superficially a story of good vs. evil, Joseph H. Lewis's film noir presents a complex world, visually captured by John Alton's stark photography, in which the lines between good/evil and love/hate are not always clear. ~ Steve Press, Rovi

Kid Monk Baroni
In the words of its star Leonard Nimoy, Kid Monk Baroni was the sort of film that "made unknowns out of celebrities." The young Nimoy is actually quite good as the title character, a boxer whose misshapen face has earned him the unwelcome nickname "Monk." Formerly an unregenerate street punk, Baroni is set on the proper path by parish priest Father Callahan (Richard Rober). Unfortunately, a run-in with his old gang forces Baroni to skip town. He becomes a professional pugilist under the aegis of manager Hellman (Bruce Cabot), taking out his pent-up frustrations in the ring. Able to afford plastic surgery, Baroni buys himself a handsome new face--and, with it, a dangerously oversized ego. Hoping to protect his new face from harm, Baroni washes out in the boxing ring, but redemption--and a lasting romance with Emily Brooks (Allene Roberts)--await just around the corner. Kid Monk Baroni was well-directed by Harold Schuster, whose previous efforts included My Friend Flicka and So Dear to My Heart. A flop at the box office, the film did nothing for the career of Leonard Nimoy, who was obliged to spend the next 15 years in relative obscurity before attaining a second chance at big-time stardom with TV's Star Trek. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Pat O'Brien
    Pat O'Brien - Martin Martin
  • Wayne Morris
    Wayne Morris - Dane Cory
  • Dolores Moran
    Dolores Moran - Lily White
  • Image coming soon
    Gayle Reed - Elsie
  • Image coming soon
    Raymond Largay - Lawbooks
Product images, including color, may differ from actual product appearance.