Inside the Mafia


1h 12m 1959

Brief Synopsis

A mobster out to rule the underworld takes hostages at an international airport.

Film Details

Also Known As
Three Came to Kill
Genre
Action
Crime
Release Date
Sep 1959
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Premium Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
United Artists Corp.
Country
United States
Location
Malibu, California, United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 12m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White

Synopsis

In the barbershop of a New York hotel, Augie Martello, eastern territory boss of the Mafia, is shot four times by gunmen from a rival Mafia faction. Martello survives, however, and after surgery, is moved to a secret sanitarium where he is guarded by gunman Sam Galey. Tony Ledo, Martello's lieutenant, brings him news that Johnny Lucero, the top Mafia boss, is returning to the country after a ten-year exile to hold a council meeting at the upstate lodge of Dan Regent, who engineered the assassination attempt on Martello. Lucero intends to restructure the organization from coast to coast and Ledo suggests that if Lucero is killed, Martello could easily take over. Ledo plans to kill Lucero when he lands at a small airstrip near the lodge, then attend the council meeting where a pro-Martello faction could sway the vote in Martello's favor. Though weakened by the attack, Martello is excited at the prospect of becoming the overall boss and agrees to Ledo's plan. Later, Ledo meets with Martello's sympathizers and outlines his plan. Ledo and Galey, along with gunman Chins Dayton, then drive to the airstrip and take over a nearby house, which also serves as the base of operations for air traffic controller Rod Balcom. Ledo informs Rod that a plane will be landing there at 4 p.m. When Rod's two daughters, Anne and Sandy, return from shopping, they also are taken prisoner and Ledo orders Galey to eliminate the family after Lucero arrives. Soon after, Anne's boyfriend, Doug Blair, a New York state police captain, comes to the house to take her on a date, and is also taken prisoner. Dave Alto, a member of Martello's faction, arrives in his own plane, but he and his pilot are shot and killed by Ledo, who suspects Alto of double-crossing Martello. Ledo then orders Galey to load the bodies in Doug's patrol car and dispose of them. While Rod helps Doug load the bodies, Doug tells him that the gang will probably kill his family, too. After Doug drives to a wooded, swampy area, he attempts to wrestle Galey's gun away from him but fails. Sandy's boyfriend, Buzz, comes to pick her up and briefly manages to evade Ledo, but is captured by Galey as he returns to the house with Doug. Just after Lucero's pilot makes contact with Rod, a television news bulletin reports that Martello has died, forcing Ledo to devise a new plan very quickly. He decides to allow Lucero to live in exchange for Martello's old spot in the organization and for taking the "heat" off him. When Lucero lands, he and the pilot are met by Rod, who takes them to the house where Ledo surprises them at gun point. Lucero has no choice but to agree to Ledo's demands, but warns that the full council will have to vote on his replacing Martello. Galey stays with the hostages while Ledo, Lucero, Chins and the pilot drive to the lodge, where Lucero tells Regent and the others that Ledo is his guest. Back at the house, Doug reminds Rod that there is a telegraph key among his equipment in the radio room. This prompts Rod to trick Galey by lying that every afternoon he is required to make radio contact with the emergency communications network or police will be sent to investigate his silence. Rod then goes upstairs to the radio room, and while making his report, taps out a telegraph message to the state police notifying them of the sitution. Galey discovers what Rod is doing, but Doug and Rod manage to overpower him. At the lodge, Lucero berates his colleagues for having allowed their various rackets to lose money and adds that as Martello got smarter, they got dumber. Lucero then reveals that he intends to revitalize the organization with enterprising men like Ledo and calls for a vote on Ledo taking over the eastern territory. Although Lucero votes for Ledo, several others refuse, causing Lucero to double-cross Ledo by killing the four men of the Martello faction who were expected to support him. When Ledo attempts to use Regent as a shield against Lucero, Lucero kills him, too, just as the police arrive at the lodge. After the police fire tear gas into the lodge, Lucero and the others quickly surrender to face sure conviction.

Film Details

Also Known As
Three Came to Kill
Genre
Action
Crime
Release Date
Sep 1959
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Premium Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
United Artists Corp.
Country
United States
Location
Malibu, California, United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 12m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White

Articles

Inside the Mafia


Most people probably wouldn't expect much from the director who was responsible for Riot in Juvenile Prison (1959) or Dragstrip Girl (1957), but Edward L. Cahn could turn out some tough little B-movie gems when given half the chance. And Inside the Mafia (1959) is a perfect example of Cahn at his best.

Reportedly based on a real incident, the film charts the return of Johnny Lucero (Grant Richards), a former mob boss who was deported from the United States ten years earlier. With the assistance of several armed followers, Lucero plots to settle an old score with his former organization. He's not the only one who wants to settle scores. Tony Ledo (Cameron Mitchell), another mob boss who was almost assassinated by Lucero, wants a little respect as well. As these two men travel toward a fateful rendezvous at an upstate New York airport, some innocent characters, such as the airport manager and his two daughters, get caught in the middle.

By fifties standards, Inside the Mafia is uncommonly violent but it is completely appropriate for the story which is, after all, about the mob. In fact, the mere mention of the infamous crime organization was not yet taboo when this film was made. It wasn't until The Godfather was released in 1972 that the word "Mafia" was banned from a film due to extensive lobbying by the Italian Anti-Defamation League.

Producer: Robert E. Kent
Director: Edward L. Cahn
Screenplay: Orville H. Hampton
Cinematography: Maury Gertsman
Editor: Grant Whytock
Principal Cast: Cameron Mitchell (Tony Ledo), Elaine Edwards (Anne Balcom), Robert Strauss (Sam Galey), Jim L. Brown (Doug Blair), Ted de Corsia (Augie Martello).
BW-73m.

By Jeff Stafford
Inside The Mafia

Inside the Mafia

Most people probably wouldn't expect much from the director who was responsible for Riot in Juvenile Prison (1959) or Dragstrip Girl (1957), but Edward L. Cahn could turn out some tough little B-movie gems when given half the chance. And Inside the Mafia (1959) is a perfect example of Cahn at his best. Reportedly based on a real incident, the film charts the return of Johnny Lucero (Grant Richards), a former mob boss who was deported from the United States ten years earlier. With the assistance of several armed followers, Lucero plots to settle an old score with his former organization. He's not the only one who wants to settle scores. Tony Ledo (Cameron Mitchell), another mob boss who was almost assassinated by Lucero, wants a little respect as well. As these two men travel toward a fateful rendezvous at an upstate New York airport, some innocent characters, such as the airport manager and his two daughters, get caught in the middle. By fifties standards, Inside the Mafia is uncommonly violent but it is completely appropriate for the story which is, after all, about the mob. In fact, the mere mention of the infamous crime organization was not yet taboo when this film was made. It wasn't until The Godfather was released in 1972 that the word "Mafia" was banned from a film due to extensive lobbying by the Italian Anti-Defamation League. Producer: Robert E. Kent Director: Edward L. Cahn Screenplay: Orville H. Hampton Cinematography: Maury Gertsman Editor: Grant Whytock Principal Cast: Cameron Mitchell (Tony Ledo), Elaine Edwards (Anne Balcom), Robert Strauss (Sam Galey), Jim L. Brown (Doug Blair), Ted de Corsia (Augie Martello). BW-73m. By Jeff Stafford

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

This film's working title was Three Came to Kill, a title that was subsequently used as the release title of a 1960 film that also was directed by Edward L. Cahn and produced by Robert E. Kent (see below). That film does not bear any plot resemblance to Inside the Mafia but does share some of the same cast and crew. According to the pressbook for Inside the Mafia, exterior sequences were shot in Malibu, CA. An offscreen narrator is featured throughout the film.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States 1959

Released in United States 1959