The Undercover Man (1949)

The Undercover Man (1949)

Released: 1949
Genre: Crime, Drama, Genre
Director: Joseph H. Lewis
Starring: James Whitmore, Nina Foch, Glenn Ford, ,
Run time: 85 min
IMDb: 6.7/10
Country: USA
Views: 155610

Synopsis

Storyline:
Treasury Department agent Frank Warren takes on the case of a mob leader who has evaded paying taxes on his ill-gotten gains.
User Reviews: I’m wondering if there could be anything more boring than an IRS agent. In "The Undercover Man" from 1949, Glenn Ford plays an IRS agent (I doubt any of them are that good-looking) on a case with his cronies, one played by James Whitmore in his film debut. The film is directed by Joseph Lewis, who directed some very impressive noirs. This film has noirish elements.

Ford is Frank Warren, who is on the trail of someone called "The Big Fellow" as he attempts to get him on a tax evasion charge. If you haven’t guessed, this is based on the Al Capone story. The agents walk around the Italian area of Chicago looking for someone who will talk. However, everyone the agents approach to testify or give evidence ends up dead.

These films tend to be pretty dry. This one is enlivened somewhat by Nina Foch as Warren’s long-suffering wife, who has had to get used to her husband being away for long periods of time, and by some good scenes. One of the bookkeepers for the Big Fellow, Salvatore Rocco, played by Anthony Caruso, is gunned down in front of his daughter (Joan Lazar). When Warren goes to his funeral, he is called a murderer. Warren is tempted to give up and retire, but it’s Rocco’s mother who convinces him to keep fighting.

Barry Kelley plays the syndicate lawyer, who is sure no one can touch his client. A total slimeball, he does an excellent job in the role. Ford is right for an IRS agent – serious with no sense of humor.

There is another little guy in the mob that the IRS agents want, but he and his wife take off. The roles are played by Leo Penn and Patricia Barry. Barry I only recognized by voice. And even if you didn’t know anything about Leo Penn, you’d know he was Sean’s father just by looking at him.

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