The Boss

1956

Action / Crime / Drama / Film-Noir / Thriller

5
IMDb Rating 6.3/10 10 383 383

Director

Top cast

John Payne as Matt Brady
Roy Roberts as Tim Brady
Percy Helton as Hotel Clerk
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
819.13 MB
1280*692
English 2.0
NR
24 fps
1 hr 29 min
Seeds 2
1.48 GB
1920*1038
English 2.0
NR
24 fps
1 hr 29 min
Seeds 11

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by bmacv 7 / 10

Borderline noir a Kane-ish study of a big-city boss

The Boss, filmed from a script by the blacklisted and hence uncredited Dalton Trumbo, starts in 1919 and ends somewhere in the Great Depression. It's about the corruption of a municipal machine that focuses on demobbed doughboy John Payne who, when his older brother dies, inherits his political clout.

On the night of his return he godrunk and married a stranger he comes to scorn (Gloria McGhee, whomakes you yearn for more of her). His only unwavering loyalty lies withan old wartime buddy (William Bishop), who has married the girl Payne loved. So all his passion goes into strengthening his hold over the city, including forging an unholy alliance with the (unnamed) Mafia.

Despite a precisely staged shootout in the train depot (did Brian De Palma borrow from this as well as from The Battleship Potemkin, for The Untouchables?), The Boss is really a somewhat Kane-ish look at the rise and fall of a lone wolf; Payne's tough yet touching performance lends an almost tragic tinge. The result is an involving period piece that dwells on the late fringes of film noir.

(One topical note: the men's costumes were by Dick Cheney.)

Reviewed by smokehill retrievers 7 / 10

Surprisingly good

This was much better than the late-night potboiler I had expected. Payne was playing such a vile character that his performance seemed a bit forced at times, but I can see why he did this picture since the portrayal is a bit different from most of his roles He's up to the stretch, and should have done more dramatic work and fewer formulaic westerns & cop/investigator parts. More plots and subplots than we're used to in this period, and it all works. Dalton Trumbo's heavyhanded anticapitalism, thoroughly-corrupt-government motif is a bit much, but that was the popular theme amongst the leftie writers of the period, much as it is even today.

Reviewed by bkoganbing 8 / 10

A Slice of the American Underbelly

Based on the story of Boss Tom Pendergast of Kansas City who ruled the roost there succeeding brother Jim from World War I until the outbreak of World War II, John Payne delivers a riveting portrayal of a political boss back in the day when these guys were at their heights running our nation's cities. Mostly, but not all were Democrats who rounded up and registered the foreign ethnic populations and got them to vote for the party slate. In the days before social welfare became a responsibility of government, these bosses while they enriched themselves also fed a lot of hungry people, giving them food and fuel for a winter. Tom Pendergast was no exception there.

When talking about some of the facts of the Pendergast machine operation, the screenplay by Dalton Trumbo under the pseudonym Ben L. Parry sticks pretty close to the facts. In fact Pendergast did do the things described in the film to a country club that high hatted him. The romantic angle however of Payne being in love with Doe Avedon who married best friend William Bishop and then marrying plain Jane Gloria McGehee in a moment of drunken weakness is a complete fabrication. In fact Pendergast's private life as far as we know was a model of probity and he and his wife raised several children, unlike here where he's shown to be a man alone even keeping his wife at room's length away.

The character of Joe Flynn, later Captain Binghamton on McHale's Navy is Harry Truman who was a county judge (commissioner) for Jackson County, Missouri and later United States Senator. Truman himself was honest, but he also winked and nodded at the corruption of others and some of the cronies he put into office as president embarrassed him no end.

Ward Boss Roy Roberts, Payne's brother is James Pendergast and it is true he ran a good chunk of Kansas City from his saloon. It's also quite true that Pendergast did make a deal with organized crime there who did open speakeasies in Kansas City like every place else in the USA. The famous Kansas City massacre did have a bad effect on his public image although not as immediately influential in bringing him down as shown in The Boss.

The Boss is a no frills uncompromising look at the soft underbelly of corruption in America back in the day. It's a well acted drama with John Payne in one of his best dramatic performances.

Read more IMDb reviews

2 Comments

Be the first to leave a comment