Enforcer, The (USP 1951, Humphrey Bogart, Zero Mostel)
Bretaigne Windust’s tough, gritty thriller The Enforcer stars Humphrey Bogart as DA Martin Ferguson, who’s hot on the trail of crime boss Albert Mendoza (Everett Sloane). Mendoza controls a ring of killers-for-hire but Ferguson thinks he’s got enough on him, thanks to supergrass Joseph Rico (Ted de Corsia). But when Rico’s rubbed out, the case is in danger of collapse unless Ferguson and Captain Frank Nelson (Roy Roberts) can unearth damning evidence from the mass of evidence they’ve accumulated. As they begin to sift through the mountain of papers, the story of Mendoza’s rise to power and Ferguson’s pursuit of him are told in flashback.
The film was largely directed by Raoul Walsh; Windust was taken ill shortly after shooting started, Bogart persuaded his friend Walsh to step in and since Windust’s illness proved more serious than thought, Walsh wrapped the film. However, he refused any credit, saying the picture was Windust’s big break and he wasn’t going to take it away from him.
Halliwells view was that it was an “extremely suspenseful and well-characterized police yarn based on fact. One of the very best of its kind.”
Also known as Murder, Inc.