New York Confidential (film)

New York Confidential

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Russell Rouse
Produced by Clarence Greene
Edward Small
Screenplay by Clarence Greene
Russell Rouse
Based on the novel New York: Confidential!
by Jack Lait
Lee Mortimer
Starring Broderick Crawford
Richard Conte
Narrated by Ralph Clanton
Music by Joseph Mullendore
Cinematography Eddie Fitzgerald
Edited by Grant Whytock
Edward Small Productions
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release dates
  • February 18, 1955 (1955-02-18) (United States)
Running time
88 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $1.3 million (US)[1]

New York Confidential is a 1955 American film noir crime film directed by Russell Rouse starring Broderick Crawford and Richard Conte as New York gangsters, and based on the novel New York: Confidential! (1948) by Jack Lait and Lee Mortimer.[2]


Charlie Lupo is a gangster who runs the New York branch of a crime syndicate. He is a widower with 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 need to be eliminated, a task Lupo turns over to Nick.

Nick quickly dispatches two of the targets, but a third flees and rats out Lupo to the cops. While hiding out, Lupo's unhappy daughter Kathy gets drunk and is killed in a car crash.

Lupo's heart is no longer in his work and he decides to cooperate with the authorities, so the syndicate orders Nick to get rid of his friend. Nick obeys orders, killing Lupo, but then is eliminated himself.



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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