City Across the River (1949)

Genres - Crime, Drama  |   Run Time - 90 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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This slightly bowdlerized version of Irving Shulman's The Amboy Dukes was used by Universal-International to showcase several of its new male contractees. Set in the slums of Brooklyn, the film follows the exploits of the Amboy Dukes, a teenaged street gang. Foremost among the Dukes is Frank Cusack (Peter Fernandez), who loses all opportunity to escape his grim existence when he accidentally kills his high-school teacher. The film tries to demonstrate that the so-called "code of the streets"--never rat on a pal--is possibly more destructive than any brass knuckle or switchblade. Maxwell Shane and Dennis Cooper's screenplay resists any temptation to sentimentalize the kids or trivialize their plight; the closest the film comes to comedy relief are the shattered romantic illusions of the near-moronic Crazy Perrin. Prominent among the supporting players are Thelma Ritter as Frank Cusack's anguished mother, Stephen McNally as a community center counselor, and Anthony (Tony) Curtis as the leather-jacketed gang leader.

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Keywords

bridge [structure], child, city, criminal, death, fugitive, gangster, hatred, hidden, hideout, leader, rampage, rival, slums, street, teacher, teenagers, tenement