UNDEREMPLOYMENT CINEMA — Side Street (1950)

Farley Granger stars here as a mailman with big dreams and no impulse control. In the course of delivering the mail downtown near the courts, he notices where a lawyer has $200 locked up. The next time he goes back to that office, the door is unlocked and he takes advantage of the lawyer’s absence to steal a folder. It turns out there’s $30,ooo in the folder. He immediately regrets his choice and finds himself wanting to return the money but the money is part of a more insidious bit of blackmail and ¬†other crimes and everyone involved in the story find themselves getting murdered.

Also complicating matters: the mailman’s wife is pregnant and just gave birth while he’s running around New York trying to extricate himself from this situation he’s gotten himself into.

The movie is fairly tepid but much of it is filmed on real New York City locations and as a NYC history fan, it was fun to see what corners and buildings are still around and what used to be where. Many nice scenes of the financial district, the waterfront, and the elevated trains. If I had to guess, I would say this film was influenced by Naked City (1948), which also benefited from a true crime story approach with the real New York City doing it’s job rather than trying to recreate it in a California studio.

One thing I noticed was how many shabby old-law tenements lined the streets.

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