3 West Street (1962): Philip Leacock’s Revenge Crime Thriller, Starring Rod Steiger and Alan Ladd (Family in Peril)

Philip Leacock directed 3 West Street, a neo-noir crime film, starring Rod Steiger and Alan Ladd.

It was based on the 1957 novel “The Tiger Among Us” by Leigh Brackett, who called the film “very, very dull.”

Walking alone on a deserted street, scientist Walt Sherill is assaulted and viciously beaten by some well-dressed young men.

When the police, including investigating juvenile officer Detective Koleski, are too slow and too busy in finding the culprits, Sherill decides to take matters in his hands and go after them.

Sherill hires Finney, a private investigator, whose work leads to Chuck Landry, the gang’s leader.

Sherill’s search for revenge causes one member of the gang to commit suicide.

Landry counters by luring Finney to a dangerous road where he is killed. He then comes to Sherill’s home, menacing his wife, then planning to shoot Sherill when he returns home.

Landry escapes from the police but Sherill goes to the boy’s home and beats him savagely.

On the verge of killing him by drowning him in his family’s swimming pool, Sherill finally relents, turning Landry over to Koleski for arrest.

Leigh Brackett’s novel The Tiger Among Us was published in 1957, and film rights were purchased by producer Charles Schnee, who had just left MGM. He hired John Michael Hayes to write the script, and thought that John Wayne would be good for the part.

The title The Tiger Among Us was changed out of fear audiences might expect a jungle film. The new title was 13 East Street then Alan Ladd requested “east” be changed to “west.” The story concerns a teenage gang from Los Angeles east side but I suggested the locale be switched to the swank purlieu of Bel Air”, said Ladd. “I have nothing against Bel Air but I want to show that juvenile delinquency can breed in exclusive areas too.”

Alan Ladd as Walt Sherill
Rod Steiger as Detective Sergeant Koleski
Michael Callan as Chuck Landry
Dolores Dorn as Tracey Sherill
Kenneth MacKenna as Paul Logan
Margaret Hayes as Mrs. Landry
Stanley Adams as Finney
Chris Robinson as Everett
Jeanne Cooper as Mrs. Quinn
Arnold Merritt as Bill
Mark Slade as Tommy
Henry Beckman as Detective Joe Bradford