Crime in the Streets

Watch Crime in the Streets

"How can you tell them to be good when their girl friends like them better when they're bad!..."
  • Passed
  • 1956
  • 1 hr 31 min
  • 6.6  (1,325)

Set in a gritty urban neighborhood, Crime in the Streets is a cautionary tale about the consequences of a lack of parental guidance and societal neglect on the lives of young people. Directed by Don Siegel and produced by Allied Artists, the film stars John Cassavetes as Frankie Dane, the leader of a group of teenage delinquents who terrorize their community.

The story unfolds as Detective Jim Cummings, played by James Whitmore, attempts to solve a series of crimes committed by Frankie and his crew. Along the way, Cummings meets John "Baby" Gioia, portrayed by Sal Mineo, a sensitive teenager who gets caught up in Frankie's gang. Through his interactions with Baby, Cummings begins to understand the root causes of juvenile delinquency, which stem from neglect, poverty, and a lack of positive role models.

At the heart of the movie is Cassavetes' portrayal of Frankie, a troubled young man who is torn between loyalty to his gang and a desire to break free from his destructive lifestyle. Frankie's quest for respect and power in his community has led him down a path of violence and crime. Cassavetes brings a raw intensity to the role, capturing the anger and frustration of a generation of young people who feel ignored and abandoned by society.

Sal Mineo is equally impressive as Baby, a sensitive teenager who becomes Frankie's unlikely ally. Mineo infuses the character with a vulnerability and heart that make Baby a sympathetic figure, even as he becomes caught up in Frankie's criminal activities. The relationship between Frankie and Baby provides the emotional core of the film, as their bond is tested by the harsh realities of life in the inner city.

James Whitmore delivers a solid performance as Detective Cummings, a veteran cop who is determined to bring Frankie and his gang to justice. He serves as a moral compass for the film, trying to understand the motivations of the troubled teens while also holding them accountable for their actions. Whitmore's naturalistic acting style is a perfect fit for the gritty realism of the movie.

One of the most striking aspects of Crime in the Streets is its use of location shooting. The film was shot on location in Chicago, giving it a sense of authenticity that is rare for movies of its era. The filmmakers make effective use of the city's alleys, tenement buildings, and other urban landscapes to create a vivid portrait of life on the margins.

The film's themes of juvenile delinquency, poverty, and neglect are still relevant today, making Crime in the Streets a timeless classic. The movie was a critical and commercial success upon its release, earning praise for its powerful performances and socially conscious message. It remains an important piece of cinematic history, offering a glimpse into the lives of young people who are often ignored and marginalized by society.

In conclusion, Crime in the Streets is a powerful drama that explores the root causes of juvenile delinquency with compassion and honesty. The movie is elevated by strong performances from John Cassavetes, Sal Mineo, and James Whitmore, as well as its gritty realism and authentic portrayal of life in the inner city. This is a must-see for anyone interested in the history of American cinema or the social issues that continue to plague our society today.

Crime in the Streets
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 31 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.6  (1,325)