New York Confidential (film)

New York Confidential is a 1955 film noir crime film directed by Russell Rouse starring Broderick Crawford, Richard Conte, Marilyn Maxwell, Anne Bancroft and J. Carrol Naish.[2]

New York Confidential
Theatrical release poster
Directed byRussell Rouse
Produced byClarence Greene
Edward Small
Screenplay byClarence Greene
Russell Rouse
Based onthe novel New York: Confidential!
by Jack Lait
Lee Mortimer
StarringBroderick Crawford
Richard Conte
Marilyn Maxwell
Anne Bancroft
J. Carrol Naish
Narrated byRalph Clanton
Music byJoseph Mullendore
CinematographyEddie Fitzgerald
Edited byGrant Whytock
Edward Small Productions
Distributed byWarner Bros.
Release date
  • February 18, 1955 (1955-02-18) (United States)
Running time
88 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$1.3 million (US)[1]


Charlie Lupo is a gangster who runs the New York branch of a crime syndicate. He is a widower with a worried mother, a grown daughter, Kathy, and a new lover, Iris.

Hit man Nick Magellan of the Chicago mob impresses Lupo, who hires Magellan to be his bodyguard. They form a friendship and Kathy is attracted to Nick, but he resists her advances.

When a political lobbyist interferes with the syndicate's plans and needs to be eliminated, Lupo arranges for three men to handle it. But they leave too many clues and themselves must be taken care of, a task Lupo turns over to Nick.

Nick quickly dispatches two of the targets, but a third flees and, for ratting out Lupo to the authorities, makes a deal for himself. While legal negotiations go on, concerning on what charge Lupo will go to prison, the gangster hides out.

Kathy, having fled her father's home in an attempt to make an independent life, is drawn back in when the police, and reporters, track her down at her job. She shows up at Nick's, clearly intoxicated, to tell him how her life has fallen apart. She throws herself at him but he rejects her. Later, she is killed in a single-car crash. The newspaper headline suggests suicide.

Lupo is devastated; his heart no longer in his work, he decides to cooperate with the authorities. The syndicate determines that he must be eliminated and Nick is ordered to do it. He does the job but, as a matter of 'insurance', he in turn is killed.



Edward Small bought the rights to the book in 1953. He assigned it over to the team of Clarence Greene and Russell Rouse, who had a six picture deal with Small. Greene and Rouse wanted George Raft and Paul Muni to star.[3]


Critical response

The staff at Variety magazine praised the cast in their review of the film, "Among crime exposes New York Confidential stacks up as one of the better-made entries, thanks to a well-fashioned story and good performances by a cast of familiar names ... Conte does a topnotch job of making a coldblooded killer seem real and Crawford is good as the chairman of the crime board, as is Marilyn Maxwell as his girl friend. Anne Bancroft, showing continuing progress and talent, scores with a standout performance of Crawford’s unhappy daughter."[4]

Critic Dennis Schwartz was disappointed in the film. He wrote, "Russell Rouse's New York Confidential is a crime thriller that is a formulaic exposé of the rackets, and is not quite as good as another such filmThe Enforcer ... New York Confidential was never exciting, tense or eye-opening. Its narrative was a cliché driven mob story that was only mildly diverting and even though the performances were energetically delivered, it still tasted like a stale salami sandwich."[5]

See also


  1. 'The Top Box-Office Hits of 1955', Variety Weekly, January 25, 1956.
  2. New York Confidential at the American Film Institute Catalog.
  3. Small Plans Film About Crime Here: Hopes to Team Muni and Raft in 'New York Confidential' -- Contract Parley Today By Thomas M. Pryor Special to The New York Times. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 09 Sept 1953: 38.
  4. Variety. Staff film review, 1955. Accessed: August 15, 2013.
  5. Schwartz, Dennis. Ozus' World Movie Reviews, film review, October 14, 2004. Accessed: August 15, 2013.
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