Crime / Drama / Film-Noir

IMDb Rating 7.1 10 232

Keywords:   noir, newspaper man


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
April 02, 2022 at 04:10 AM



Peggy Dow as Ellen Bennett
Rock Hudson as Ted
Lawrence Tierney as Harry Colton
Howard Duff as Jack Early
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
738.09 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 20 min
P/S 20 / 67
1.34 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 20 min
P/S 26 / 93

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by evanston_dad 7 / 10

Repellant Protagonist in a Cynical Crime Film

In "Shakedown," Howard Duff plays a photographer who will stop at nothing to climb his way to the very top of the success ladder. On the strength of his sheer tenacity, he gets a job with a major newspaper, and it's not long before he's made a name for himself by charming a notorious crime boss (Brian Donlevy) into allowing himself to be photographed. Donlevy takes him under his wing, but Duff decides to bite the hand that feeds him and sets Donlevy and another crime boss, Lawrence Tierney, against one another. He uses photos to blackmail Tierney into providing him with a steady income while he sidles up to Donlevy's wife on the sly, all the while romancing the photo editor of the paper at which he works. But Duff's cockiness and confidence in his own cleverness get the best of him, and he meets his end in a wildly melodramatic finale in which he snaps one last photo, that of his own murderer, before dying.

"Shakedown" is notable for its highly suggestive dialogue and sexual content, and for the sheer repulsiveness of its protagonist. Duff's character is unapologetically repellant--he has no moral qualms whatsoever about anything he does, even if people get killed as a direct result of his actions. The film is probably about ten minutes too long, and over all is a minor work, but it should be seen as an example of post-war cinema at its harshest and most cynical.

Grade: B

Reviewed by gordonl56 9 / 10

Duff shines as a Lowlife


Howard Duff entered films in 1947 and by 1950 had made it into leading roles. In this one, Duff is a photographer who wants to become a newspaperman. He manages to get a lucky shot of a killing and gets hired by a local daily. Duff is willing to do anything to move up the ladder. It helps that the man is a first rate heel from the bottom of his shoes up.

He manages to talk a local mob boss into posing for a photo. The man, Brian Donlevy, takes a shine to the smooth talking Duff. He offers him a bit of cash to help him out with a problem. Cash is of course Duff's favourite word, and he agrees.

Donlevy is having a spot of trouble with an old "associate" of his, Lawrence Tierney. Mister Tierney is muscling in on a few of Donlevy's businesses, and Donlevy would like this to stop. He has info on a job Tierney is going to pull, and would like Duff to be on hand to snap a few photos of the deed. The job is a robbery of the cash room at a large department store. Donlevy offers Duff a cool grand for the help.

Duff manages to be in the area when Tierney and his mob walk out with a cool 200 large after the holdup. He snaps several great shots of the mug and his crew. The best shots that identify Tierney without a doubt, Duff keeps, and turns the others into his paper. The paper is pleased with the scoop even if it is difficult to id the crooks. His editor, Bruce Bennett, gives the man a 25 dollar bonus.

Duff has plans for making a little more than a 25 buck bonus. Duff now pays Tierney a visit, and flashes the best photos of him and his mob. Cough up or the negatives go to the paper and the Police. Tierney is less than amused when he hears the price for Duff's silence, $25,000. Tierney however has no option but to cough up.

Duff throws in a sweetener, he tells Tierney that it was his old boss, Donlevy, who had told him about the robbery. Needless to say how our boy Tierney takes this bit of info. Duff of course plans on making a fortune by selling info to the rival gangs. He has also taken a shine to Donlevy's wife, Anne Vernon. He puts the moves on the babe every time Donlevy has his back turned.

Meanwhile, back at the newspaper, he is also romancing his editor's assistant, Peggy Dow. Dow falls for the silver tongued rat in a nice suit. She dumps her present beau and takes up with Duff. Her editor pal, Bennett, does not like the smell of Duff, and tells Dow the same.

By now our boy Tierney has decided on a little payback on Donlevy. He plants a bomb in Donlevy's car. Of course Duff just happens to be hiding nearby, and snaps some more pics he can use for blackmail. Moments after Tierney has wired up the car and split, Donlevy shows and is blown to bits. Duff needless to say has a top picture of the exact moment of Donlevy's demise. In fact, he was so close to the event he is injured in the explosion.

While in the hospital, Duff is offered all sorts of contracts for photo work. He quits the paper and goes freelance. Dow finally clues in that Duff is the rat she had been warned about. Duff now makes moves on the widow Vernon and soon is in her good books.

Duff, now a photographer in demand, lucks onto doing a charity event at a top end joint. There will be over a million in jewels etc on display. Using his cover as the event photographer, he cases the joint and gets all the details. These he gives to Tierney for a large cut of the proceeds.

Tierney by now has had more than enough of Duff's arrogance, and decides to settle his hash. He has a meet with the Donlevy's widow, Vernon. He tells her that it was really Duff who had arranged her dear hubby's death. Vernon is not amused with this info and makes plans to deal with Duff.

Without giving up the actual ending, suffice it to say that it is a real cracker-jack of a twister.

Look close and you will see Rock Hudson in an early bit as a nightclub doorman.

The director here is Joseph Pevney who started out as an actor. He had a half dozen film noir credits before switching to directing. His work behind the camera includes, UNDERCOVER GIRL, IRON MAN, FLESH AND FURY, 6 BRIDGES TO CROSS, THE MIDNIGHT STORY and FEMALE ON THE BEACH. When film work dried up, he moved to television and cranked out over 200 episodes of various series. Two of the more famous episodes, were from STAR TREK, "Amok Time" and "The Trouble with Tribbles".

Reviewed by bmacv 7 / 10

Howard Duff as rotten-to-core tabloid photographer

In Shakedown, Howard Duff plays his specialty, a winsome crumb. As a down-at-the-heels shutterbug desperate for a job, he sells lurid pictures -- drownings, defenestrations -- without any thought to the peril his subjects face. Once he lands the job by buttering up his editor's assistant (Peggy Dow), he realizes that compromising photos of crime figures pay better as blackmail than as journalism. He doesn't scruple to double-cross his prey if the profits can underwrite his taste for the high life, including the widow of a mobster he set up for a hit. When he just happens to be on hand to snap that murder, he causes a sensation but raises suspicions. Of course, his duplicity and greed prove his undoing.... With such familiar tough guys as Brian Donleavy and Lawrence Tierney, the movie clicks right along apace with Duff's camera. A nice irony shades the ending, not unlike the denouement of Taxi Driver: the heel gets turned into something like a hero.

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