Rogue Cop (1954)

Rogue Cop (1954)

Directed by Roy Rowland with a screenplay by Sydney Boehm (The Atomic City (1952)) this above average crime thriller earned John Seitz the last of his seven Cinematography Oscar nominations one of which was for filming the Oscar winning Best Picture The Lost Weekend (1945). The cast is a recognizable one which includes Robert Taylor Janet Leigh George Raft Steve Forrest Anne Francis Alan Hale Jr. and Vince Edwards (in one of his first films) among others. The film’s title refers to Detective Sergeant Christopher Kelvaney (Taylor) who works with underworld figures for his own financial gain until his honest kid brother cop Eddie (Forrest) identifies and subsequently arrests a small time hood that’s capable of bringing down those same gangsters. Things get ugly such that the “rogue cop” is turned against his former employers with the help of two women (Leigh & Francis) and another honest cop on the force.

‘Wrinkles’ Fallon (Peter Brocco) kills a dealer that’s operating in his territory and escapes in his car but not before Officer Eddie Kelvaney (Forrest) gets a good look at him. After describing him to his Detective brother Chris (Taylor) the two locate find and arrest him in the backroom of a pool hall. Chris gets valuable “street” information from a newspaper stand woman “stoolie” named Selma (Olive Carey). Shortly thereafter Chris who’s a crooked cop gets called in by Dan Beaumonte (George Raft) who tells Chris that he and his associate Ackerman would like Wrinkles to “get off”. Chris goes to meet his brother Eddie at a nightclub and meets his girlfriend Karen Stephanson (Leigh) who he knows used to be a moll for another tough guy in Miami. Straight laced Eddie doesn’t know about Karen’s past and hopes to marry her. When Chris talks to Eddie about forgetting about putting the finger on Wrinkles for $15000 Eddie is appalled and upset with his brother for even asking. Richard Deacon (Mel on TV’s The Dick Van Dyke Show) appears uncredited as a hood Beaumonte’s hired to tail Eddie.

When Chris returns later to meet with Beaumonte Ackerman (Robert Simon) is with him as well as Beaumonte’s moll Nancy Corlane (Francis) and bodyguard Johnny Stark (Hale Jr.). Chris lies telling them his brother will go along with it. Ackerman wants to be sure and insists on a meeting later with Eddie. After he leaves Chris goes to Karen’s apartment and tries to get her to pressure Eddie into accepting the money. He threatens to tell his brother about her past if she doesn’t. She refuses and it leads to a later confrontation between Chris and Eddie and then Chris and Father Ahearn (Anthony Ross) who’s known their family for years including “the boys” now deceased honest cop father. Chris then asks a fellow detective Sidney Myers (Robert Ellenstein) to help him with his pending engagement that evening. Myers also refuses because he too is a clean cop. So Chris goes to meet with Beaumonte and Ackerman alone who are joined once again by Stark and Nancy. They know Chris hasn’t got his brother “on board” and tell him so accusing him of lying to them. After they excuse him from their service a fight breaks out in which Chris first lays out Stark and then Beaumonte. When a drunken Nancy laughs because someone has stood up to her “man” he sends her away to be beaten up by some of his flunkies.

So Eddie is killed and the rest of the film deals with Chris trying to get even. He’s called on the mat by his superiors who are ready to prosecute him for his dirty dealings but allow him to work the inside against his brother’s killers. His efforts lead Karen to see him in a different light and she helps him hide Nancy when she returns with the ability to put the finger on Beaumonte herself. Ray Teal plays a cop assigned to protect Karen’s apartment. Myers also figures into the equation when Chris is able to track down Eddie’s killer (played by Vince Edwards looking a little like Warren Beatty).

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