Gangster, The (1947): Wiles’ B-Level Noir Crime,

Gordon Wiles directed The Gangster (aka Low Company), a film noir starring Barry Sullivan, Belita, Joan Lorring and Akim Tamiroff.  The screenplay was written by Daniel Fuchs, based on his 1937 novel “Low Company.”


The Gangster
The Gangster Poster.jpg

Theatrical release poster

Shubunka is a racketeer, at odds with Cornell, a rival. Shubunka has a girlfriend, showgirl Nancy Starr.

Karty has gambling debts, having stolen money from his brothers-in-law’s garage. He begs Shubunka for help but is refused. Dorothy, the cafe’s cashier, quits her job, disillusioned by Shubunka’s selfish involvement in the rackets.

Wishing to take over Shubunka’s rackets, Cornell is assisted by getting inside information. After Cornell’s men beat him up on a picnic, Shubunka accuses Nancy of having him set up.

Karty has disappeared, meantime, but when his frantic wife appeals to Shubunka for help, he again infuriates Dorothy by refusing.

In the end, with nowhere to hide, Shubunka is killed by Cornell in the street, just before the police arrive to place Cornell under arrest.

Barry Sullivan as Shubunka
Belita as Nancy Starr
Joan Lorring as Dorothy
Akim Tamiroff as Nick Jammey
Harry Morgan as Shorty
John Ireland as Karty
Sheldon Leonard as Cornell
Fifi D’Orsay as Mrs. Ostroleng
Virginia Christine as Mrs. Karty
Elisha Cook Jr. as Oval
Ted Hecht as Swain
Leif Erickson as Beaumont
Charles McGraw as Dougas
John Kellogg as Sterling
Shelley Winters as Hazel (Uncredited)

This film noir is more concerned with visual style than with engaging plot and intriguing characters.

Director Gordon Wiles had won an Oscar as art director for the 1931 Transatlantic.


Directed by Gordon Wiles
Produced by Frank King. Maurice King
Written by Daniel Fuchs
Screenplay by Daniel Fuchs, Dalton Trumbo, based on Low Company
Music by Louis Gruenberg
Cinematography Paul Ivano
Edited by Walter A. Thompson

Production company: King Brothers Productions

Distributed by Allied Artists Pictures

Release date: November 25, 1947

Running time: 84 minutes