I Cover the Underworld


1h 10m 1955

Film Details

Release Date
May 15, 1955
Premiere Information
Los Angeles opening: 20 Apr 1955
Production Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 10m
Film Length
8 reels

Synopsis

As gangster Gunner O'Hara is about to be released from prison after serving a five-year sentence, he receives a visit from his twin brother John, a divinity student soon to be ordained as a priest. Aware that Gunner plans to resume his criminal career, John determines to stop him. When prison warden Lewis L. Johnson invites the police chief and district attorney to the prison, John lays out a plan to impersonate Gunner, gather evidence from inside the mobs and smash the city's crime rings. Despite the danger to John, the authorities decide to back him. After Gunner is removed to solitary confinement in a cell adjacent to the warden's office, John enters Gunner's cell and poses as his convict brother. Before parole day, John memorizes the personal and criminal backgrounds of Gunner's three principal thugs--Flash Logan, Smiley Di Angelo and Dum Dum Wilson--and the name of his dog, Tramp. When John as "Gunner" is released, his lawyer Jake Freeman takes him to a welcome home party where John orders Logan to stop all violence against their competitors as he intends to merge several small, warring gangs into one big mob. John then asks Jake to set up preliminary meetings with the other gangs. When Danny Marlowe, a young recruit to the gang, returns from walking Tramp, the dog does not recognize John until he puts on a special cologne. When John seems confused by the layout of his old apartment, Logan becomes worried and suspicious. A further complication arises with the arrival of Gilda, Gunner's girl friend, who expects to resume their romance. The future priest manages to avoid Gilda's advances by taking her to a nightclub where Jake has arranged a rendezvous with mobster Tim Donovan. At the club, John meets Joan Marlowe, Danny's sister, who asks him to fire Danny, as she does not want him involved in crime. John promises Joan that he will consider her request. The next day, John learns that Logan has disobeyed his orders and has caused more trouble at Donovan's pool hall, resulting in Danny's capture. After Donovan agrees to release Danny if John comes to the pool hall alone, John goes there, and after persuading Donovan that it would be sensible to merge their gangs with two others, secures Danny's release. As a ruse to confer with John, the police take him in. At the police station, they devise a plan to trap the gang leaders while they are assembled at a meeting to which they will all bring their financial records. Meanwhile, in the prison, Gunner overpowers his guard and, after sending a telegram to Logan informing him of the situation, escapes using the warden as a hostage. When the telegram arrives, however, Tramp grabs it and drops it out of a window. Danny goes downstairs to retrieve it but after reading it, senses John's danger and tells Logan that the telegram is lost. When Danny tells Joan about the strange telegram, she reminds him that John saved his life and urges him to show the telegram to John. Increasingly suspicious of John, Logan tells him that the location for the meeting has suddenly been changed from his apartment to a garage, but John has no way of advising the police of the change. When Gunner phones Gilda, she realizes that John must be an imposter and she tells him the location of the meeting. In the back seat of a car driven by Danny, Logan tricks John into giving himself away and then draws a gun on him. As they struggle for possession of the weapon, Danny swerves the car around and in the ensuing chaos, Logan is shot. After asking Danny to inform the police of the new location, John proceeds to the meeting. When Gilda phones Wilson and tells him that the real Gunner is on his way, Wilson draws his gun and accuses John of being a "ringer." When Gunner arrives, a brawl ensues and the police break into the building by smashing one of their trucks through a wall. After escaping through a window, Gunner encounters the wounded Logan in an alley. Although Gunner protests that he is the genuine article, the delirious Logan shoots and kills him, then is shot by the police. Later, John wishes Joan and Danny well and looks forward to seeing them in his church.

Film Details

Release Date
May 15, 1955
Premiere Information
Los Angeles opening: 20 Apr 1955
Production Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 10m
Film Length
8 reels

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

This film is a partial remake of Republic's 1938 film Gangs of New York (See AFI Feature Film Catalog, 1931-40). A Hollywood Reporter news item of December 10, 1954 adds Jack Chefe to the cast.