Slaughter on Tenth Avenue (film)

Slaughter on Tenth Avenue

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Arnold Laven
Produced by Albert Zugsmith
Written by Lawrence Roman
Starring Richard Egan
Jan Sterling
Julie Adams
Walter Matthau
Music by Herschel Burke Gilbert
Cinematography Fred Jackman, Jr.
Universal International
Distributed by Universal International
Release dates
  • September 1, 1957 (1957-09-01) (United States)
Running time
103 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Slaughter on Tenth Avenue is a 1957 American film noir crime film directed by Arnold Laven starring Richard Egan and Jan Sterling.[1]

The film is a story of crime on New York's waterfront. It is based on the book The Man Who Rocked the Boat, an autobiography by William Keating, played by Egan in the film. The book chronicles Keating's experiences as an assistant district attorney and as counsel to the New York City Anti-crime Committee. In the portion of the book depicted in the film, Keating pursued a murder prosecution for a waterfront hit despite widespread corruption that stretched all the way into the district attorney's office.

The title comes from the Richard Rodgers ballet of the same name, which was featured in the 1936 play On Your Toes, but the plot line of the movie had no relation to the play.

The was one of the first major film roles performed by Walter Matthau before he became a star. Here he plays a waterfront gang boss.


Thugs working for union boss Al Dahlke ambush and shoot Solly Pitts, an honest man who hires longshoremen on the docks. Solly is wounded and hospitalized, looked after by wife Madge, who trusts Lt. Tony Vosnick to see that justice is done.

The district attorney, Howard Rysdale, turns over the investigation to a relative novice, Bill Keating. As his marriage to fiancee Daisy Pauly draws near, Keating tries in vain to get longshoremen to speak with him about activities on the docks. An intermediary tries to persuade Keating to collude with Dahlke, who issues vague threats after Bill rejects him.

With witnesses intimidated and discredited by attorney John Jacob Masters in court, Bill and Daisy receive an anonymous death threat on their wedding day. Keating goes to the docks for a direct confrontation with Dahlke's men and triggers a near-riot. As the dust settles, the men hear on the radio that Solly's attackers have been found guilty.


See also


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