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Film / The Turning Point (1952)

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The Turning Point is a 1952 Film Noir directed by William Dieterle, starring William Holden and Edmond O'Brien.

District attorney John Conroy (O'Brien) and newspaper reporter Jerry McKibbon (Holden) attempt to weed out a criminal syndicate in their city, only to discover that Conroy's own police officer father, Matt (Tom Tully), may be involved in the conspiracy. Meanwhile, the racketeers become increasingly ruthless.

This page is Spoilers Off due to the nature of the film.

Today's most sensational tropes of racket busting:

  • Assassins Are Always Betrayed: The assassin who kills Matt Conroy is himself killed.
  • Cop Killer: Neil Eichelberger has the formerly corrupt police officer Matt Conroy assassinated.
  • Crusading Lawyer: John Conroy wants to use his position as prosecutor to eliminate corruption in his city.
  • Dirty Cop: Matt Conroy is initially a police officer in Eichelberger's pocket. He decides to betray Eichelberger out of guilt.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Neil Eichelberger puts up a facade of civility despite being a mobster who is willing to kill multiple civilians to cover up evidence against him.
  • Fiery Cover-Up: Neil Eichelberger burns down a building containing one of his rackets, including a building containing multiple families, in order to cover up his illegal activities as a loan shark and racketeer.
  • Intrepid Reporter: Jerry McKibbon actively seeks to assist John in the investigation into corruption in the city as a journalist.
  • Loan Shark: Neil Eichelberger runs a moneylending racket.
  • Man of Wealth and Taste: Neil Eichelberger presents himself as a distinguished businessman, but in fact, is a cold blooded mobster who has no problem intimidating or murdering people.
  • The Mob Boss Is Scarier: Neil Eichelberger, the leader of the local criminal syndicate, has no qualms about intimidating or murdering anyone who would testify against him.
  • Snark-to-Snark Combat: Jerry and Amanda regularly have witty exchanges.
  • The Syndicate: Neil Eichelberger runs a vast criminal organization which encompasses various rackets, including loansharking and gambling.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Eichelberger puts up a fa├žade of being a respectable businessman, but is really a ruthless mobster.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: When Jerry releases a story in order to pressure a witness into testifying, John calls him out for his methods.