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directed by Max Nosseck
USA 1951


One of the niftiest "B" gangster films of the "noir" era tells the story of ex-con Vincent Lubeck (a solid performance by Reservoir Dogs' Lawrence Tierney) on parole because of the pleadings of his mother, with orders to stay clean for five years. Working for his brother at a gas station, Lawrence looks for an easy way to make money. He calls in some of his old associates and they rob an armored car where several people are killed. Edward Tierney (real-life brother of Lawrence) makes his screen debut delivering a promising performance, and the rest of the cast offer excellent performances in this tough, fast-paced dramatic film from the director of Dillinger, based on actual news accounts of the plight of many ex-cons.


Incorrigible criminal Vincent Lubeck comes up for parole after serving five years for bank robbery in the state penitentiary. Although the warden believes that Vincent is an unrepentant "hoodlum," Vincent's naive and loyal mother defends her son when the Parole Board convenes to review his case. Vincent is released and returns home with his mother. While Vincent was in jail, his brother Johnny started Lubeck's Service gas station and bought a home for the family, using the insurance money from their father's death. Mrs. Lubeck is proud of the new home, which she boasts is a great improvement over the shack near the city dump in which the boys grew up. Refusing to compliment his brother's hard work, Vincent bitterly remarks that "dough is the only thing that will cover up the stink of the city dump." As part of his parole requirements, Vincent must work at the station, which Johnny has agreed to as a favor to his mother. Vincent resents the job, but Johnny's sweet girl friend Rosa tries to mend the family problems by asking Johnny to give Vincent a chance. In the days that follow, Vincent performs poorly and lacks the initiative to become a mechanic.

Excerpt of review from TCM located HERE


Theatrical Release: July 5th, 1951

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DVD Review: Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC

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Image Entertainment

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:00:20

1.37:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.99 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio Dolby Digital 1.0 (English)
Subtitles None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Image Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Original - 1.37:1

Edition Details:
• None

DVD Release Date: January 3rd, 2006
Keep Case

Chapters 13





Pretty good, pretty good.... We have Lawrence and Edward Tierney play brothers Vincent and Johnny Lubeck in a decent crime drama with family overtones.

It's single-layered but progressive in the original 1.37:1 aspect ratio and, despite some minor damage it looks quite acceptable. Contrast is surprisingly good for the limitations of the modest transfer. Detail is consistent and looks to have come from a good print with adept density. There is some noise and artifacts but neither are heavily bothersome. Overall, we presume that this is the best digital representation of the film available so far. It seems to be in the Public Domain with THIS Synergy release of The Hoodlum also available on DVD.

The mono sound is decent but unremarkable and there are no subtitles offered. There are no supplements either. It is a real 'bare-bones' DVD.

The Hoodlum is a bona-fide Noir film on our essential list. It fits the bill with ex-cons and anti-heroes. There is a gritty realism factor here that works in the film's favor. Melodrama is heavier but I don't consider that a negative. This is a decent film in its own right and Noir fans will definitely want to indulge if they can get their hands on this disc.   

  - Gary Tooze



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Region 0 - NTSC


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