Johnny Stool Pigeon

1949

Crime / Drama / Film-Noir

0
IMDb Rating 6.6 10 516

noir crime syndicate federal agent

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Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
May 04, 2022 at 09:46 PM

Director

Cast

Tony Curtis as Joey Hyatt
Shelley Winters as Terry Stewart
Dan Duryea as Johnny Evans
John McIntire as Nick Avery
720p.BLU
691.11 MB
990*720
English 2.0
NR
24 fps
1 hr 15 min
P/S counting...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by bmacv 7 / 10

The feds infiltrate heroin ring; good cast in routine noir

Federal agents risking mortal danger to infiltrate criminal syndicates supply one of the basic templates for film noir. The crooks can variously be counterfeiters (as in T-Men) or traffickers in illegal laborers (as in Border Incident) or, here in Johnny Stool Pigeon, heroin smugglers.

Those first two films were by the resourceful Anthony Mann; Johnny Stool Pigeon is by William Castle, no Mann but later to become the king of cheapie horror flicks after an apprenticeship in noir (his When Strangers Marry may be the best of his juvenilia).

It's a creditable if not especially memorable effort, thanks mostly to a cast headed by Dan Duryea, Howard Duff, Shelly Winters (in her sexpot phase) and, in a non-speaking part, young Tony Curtis (here billed as "Anthony," a better billing than he got in the same year's Criss Cross, where his manic rhumba with Yvonne De Carlo went uncredited).

Narcotics cop Duff knows his only chance to crack an international drug ring is by springing a convict (Duryea) whom he'd help put in Alcatraz. The oil-and-water team of unwilling partners travels from San Francisco first to Vancouver then, gang moll Winters in tow, to a dude ranch near Tucson run by the mob.

The plot's volatility depends on the possibility of Duff's being sold out by Duryea or recognized by Curtis, who spends half the movie knitting his brows in an effort to remember where he'd seen Duff before. Reckoning finally comes at a dangerous drug buy at the Nogales border crossing.

As a straight arrow, Duff's not bad, though in more ambivalent roles in movies like Shakedown or The Naked City, he can turn into a slithery chameleon. The reliable Duryea does his soured cynic number -- he had it down pat by now. Winters adds a dash of hot sauce, but it's a sketched-in part at best. Johnny Stool Pigeon adds up to a pretty routine hour-and-a-quarter of noir -- but that's far from faint praise.

Reviewed by planktonrules 7 / 10

Generally, a routine film about drug runners, though it ended very well.

One of the more underrated actors of his day was Dan Duryea. He never became a household name but the actor had a great knack for playing all sorts of characters...some good, some pure evil and many in between. Here, you get a good chance to see him at his best. Along for the ride is Howard Duff, whose part is strictly by the book and not particularly interesting. Additionally, in one of his first films is Tony Curtis who plays a mute assassin of all things!

There is an international drug ring running from Mexico all the way to Vancouver. The federal authorities have some leads...but not much. So, to help them infiltrate this mob, George (Duff) arranges to have Johnny Evans (Duryea) released early from prison. The problem is George isn't very sure how far he can trust his new partner and they go undercover at a dude ranch outside of Tucsan, Arizona. Things get complicated when Johnny brings along a dame he feels sorry for (Shelley Winters), though having her along might easily jeopardize everything.

The film is mostly unremarkable but enjoyable. However, the movie really had a terrific ending--and this alone help elevate the movie above the ordinary. Well worth seeing.

Reviewed by melvelvit-1 7 / 10

A passable Universal programmer

Unbilled bit player Tony Curtis' face flashed on the screen for only a few seconds as Yvonne DeCarlo's rumba partner in Robert Siodmak's 1949 CRISS CROSS but fan mail poured in from around the country and Universal began to groom him for stardom. Billed as Anthony Curtis, JOHNNY STOOLPIGEON was his first film and the role of a mute gunsel gave the newcomer a chance to get his feet wet without embarrassing himself or the studio. Third-billed Dan Duryea had the titular role of a gangster sprung from prison to help San Francisco-based narcotics agent Howard Duff infiltrate a powerful drug ring after Duryea's wife dies from an overdose. Duff, a childhood pal, had sent him up years before and Duryea vows eventual revenge but together they hook up with a Vancouver drug lord who uses his blowzy moll Shelley Winters to keep an eye on them. Dan falls for Shelley who falls for Howard and they all head to a fancy Tuscon, Arizona dude ranch where a major Mexican drug deal is about to go down. Things get complicated when young gunsel Curtis thinks he recognizes Duff...

Told in semi-documentary style with a bit of voice-over narration, JOHNNY STOOLPIGEON is an entertaining programmer that showcases the charms of the ever available Shelley Winters, Universal's newest sex symbol, while seasoned pros Dan Duryea and Howard Duff get a chance to flex their familiar personas. Directed by future schlockmeister William Castle, the shadowy photography gives the proceedings a noirish feel while the brisk pace generates a fair amount of suspense on both the criminal and romantic levels. The ridiculous Hollywood ending only adds to the fun. Definitely recommended for Classic Film fans but others should proceed with a bit of caution.

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