Theatrical Release Date: TBC
Home Ent. Release Date: 03 May 2009
In the Spanish Harlem of the late 1950s, D.A. Hank Bell is prosecuting three members of an Italian street gang who have been charged with the stabbing death of a blind Puerto Rican teenager. Although D.A. Dan Cole (Edward Andrews), eager to boost his career, has told the press that he'll seek the death penalty, Hank, a product of the same kind of slum neighbourhood as both the killers and their victim, resolves to remain neutral until he's completed his investigation. His involvement is complicated both by his liberal wife Karin's (Dina Merrill) stand against capital punishment, and the fact that one of the indicted, Danny Di Pace (Stanley Kristien) is the son of his former fiancee Mary (Shelley Winters). As he patiently probes the case, Hank learns that the victim was actually the leader of a Puerto Rican street gang who was pimping his 13-year-old sister on the side. As tensions escalate on both sides, Karin is attacked by a street gang, and Hank is viciously beaten up in a subway. This solid, socially conscious, police procedural, was the beginning of the long association between director John Frankenheimer and actor Burt Lancaster, and only the director's second feature. Young composer David Amram, who would also work on the director's MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE, contributes a sharp, jazz-inflected score.