Cry Tough (1959)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Melodrama  |   Run Time - 83 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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This was the first film directed by Paul Stanley, and its theme of second-generation Puerto Ricans living in New York's Spanish Harlem would be picked up again in 1961's smash success, West Side Story. Miguel Estrada (John Saxon) was a member of a local gang before he went to prison for a year, and now that he is out he wants to walk the straight-and-narrow. His attempts at getting away from the life that binds him to the gangs are not anything his father can understand, and the gangs are not going to let him just walk away. At one point, he is forced into a knife fight with a gang member. A counterpoint to Miguel's dilemma is found in Sarita (Linda Cristal), a local "hostess" who prefers single bliss to marriage and its problems.

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Keywords

ex-convict, prejudice, prison, Puerto-Rican [nationality], street-gang