During the 1950s, the New York garment industry is going through a turmoil. On one side, the industry workers want to organize themselves into labor unions that will fight for them in obtaining better wages, better working conditions and other benefits. On the other side, the factory owners and their managers staunchly oppose unionization. At one of the largest garment companies, Roxton Fashions, the owner, Walter Mitchell, is fighting against his workers' wishes to unionize. For the past 15 years, Walter Mitchell has been using the mob muscle in order to protect his company against unions. His gangster friend Artie Ravidge, and his henchmen, provide Walter Mitchell and Roxton Fashions with such protection against union men who agitate the workers into forming their own union locals. This protection includes murder, whenever necessary, to eliminate stubborn union men. Unfortunately, when Walter Mitchell's business partner, Fred Kenner, argues in favor of allowing a union into their ...Written by
Columbia Pictures production number 8395. See more »
The baby that Robert Loggia is holding in the office and hallway of the Dress Union building is different when he enters another room. The first baby is younger with short blondish hair. The other baby is much bigger with longer, blackish hair. See more »
A real troublemaker, that one. But don't you worry; this stuff'll move, it'll move. When I get done with him, he won't bother us no more.
What are you going to do?
Never mind. I'm going to educate that Union real good to lay off us.
Dad, are you going to let him...?
What do you want me to do? Give in to them? Let the Union take over? That's what'll happen once they grab hold. With their hours, and benefits, and guarantees... three percent of the payroll for retirement, two percent for health, ...
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Vincent Sherman was always a good director of melodramas, particularly if he had a strong leading lady. He made "The Garment Jungle" in 1957 after the original director, Robert Aldrich, was taken off the picture. You could hardly call it a problem picture but it did deal with the issue of Trade Unions and, in its way, it did find Sherman out of his comfort zone, (Aldrich was much better suited to the material). Nevertheless, it's a good example of its kind with a strong cast headed by Lee J. Cobb and featuring the likes of Robert Loggia, Richard Boone, Wesley Addy and Joseph Wiseman in supporting roles. However it's let down somewhat by its handsome, wooden lead, Kerwin Mathews, who always looked better shirtless, in baggy pants and with a scimitar in his hand. It was also lacking in a strong female lead; Gia Scala and Valerie French are as good as we get here and while both are very pretty neither was ever likely to be Oscar-bait. No "On the Waterfront" then but still worth seeing.
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