Crime / Drama / Film-Noir
Crime / Drama / Film-Noir
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An ex-military accountant is recruited by the FBI to infiltrate the mob in Chicago in an attempt to break open the rackets. To complicate his job, two women stand in his way, each with their own agenda..
Uploaded By: FREEMAN
Nov 10, 2021 at 10:35 PM
grade Movie Reviews
good late noir
The best part of "Chicago Syndicate" for me was seeing Abbe Lane and Xavier Cugat! I remember them from television and their chihuahuas. In fact, I think they fought over them in the divorce.Dennis O'Keefe is Barry Amsterdam who goes undercover to get dirt on organized crime. An accountant has just been murdered as he was about to tell what he knew. A citizen's group sends in O'Keefe, with the promise of a $60,000 fee.Amsterdam wins the trust of the main man (Paul Stewart), and he sets out to find his secret ledger and anything else that will serve as evidence. He meets lovely Sue Morton, who turns out to be the sister of the accountant who was killed. She joins Barry in bringing down the criminals.In the late '40s and '50s, many films were made with a narration, as this one was. Usually they are pretty dry. This one wasn't, with some good scenes and a nice performance by O'Keefe. Abbe Lane plays the mobster's girlfriend, and she sings with. Benny Chico's (Cugat's) band. She was a knockout.
A pretty good later Film Noir picture
Because this film starred Dennis O'Keefe (who was wonderful in his Film Noir appearances), I was sure to see it. And fortunately, the overall effort was exciting and engaging--making it a decent later example of the genre. While not as bloody and earthy as many Noir films, due to the head of the mob priding himself on being a well-spoken gentleman, nevertheless is a decent film of this type.The film begins with a contract killing so stop an accountant from spilling his guts about organized crime. A citizen's group decides that they need to try a new way to infiltrate the mob--send in a freelance agent who isn't a cop or part of the Treasury or Justice Departments. So Dennis O'Keefe is recruited and he is able to eventually rise very high in the ranks--and leading to a wonderful showdown.I think the reason I like O'Keefe in these films is because he's so ugly--or at best ordinary looking. For Noir, this is great, as pretty boys and the like are NOT something you'd expect. So, when Edmund O'Brien isn't available, O'Keefe is a good substitute.Full of excellent intrigue, an interesting and unusual plot and sure to please fans of the genre, CHICAGO SYNDICATE nearly earns an 8--it's that good.FYI--It is interesting that in one scene where they are standing outside a movie theater, the picture listed on the marquee is ON THE WATERFRONT--another film about mobsters which came out at about the same time as CHICAGO SYNDICATE.
Moderate plot aided by sinister characters and great location footage.
It takes a lot of patience to get past all the explanatory details at the beginning of this film that gets Dennis O'Keefe to successfully infiltrate the Chicago mob on assignment for the FBI. He begins to work closely with mob head Paul Stewart and becomes involved with two very different women involved somehow within organized crime: sensuous singer Abbe Lane and the vengeful Allison Hayes whose father was murdered at Stewart's orders. for much of the film, The two women believe that O'Keefe is Stewart's right-hand man, and he doesn't want to prove them wrong. But, it isn't before long that all of the cats are let out of the bag and betrayal takes control with O'Keefe working vigilantly to bring all of the corruption down.Not so much a good film as a riveting one once you get past knowing the details, this does have some interesting characterizations and chilling moments where it appears that O'Keefe's identity will be exposed. Stewart and Hayes give the best performances, highlighted by vintage location photography and some thrilling chase sequences, particularly at the end. It's a rare chance to see Spanish bandleader Xavier Cugat in a role other than himself, but he really isn't given anything of consequence to do. A typically overdramatic noir narration is the predictable structure but fortunately, the dialog isn't as silly.
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