Scratching More Big Town Underbelly
Brakes Are Off for Chicago Confidential (1957)
"Confidential" had become a heat-seeking word by 1957. The same-name magazine was daily in news pages, and court documents. Movie stars had begun pushing back its scurrilous gossip, most recently Maureen O' Hara after a particularly nasty story. Confidential also implied fruit of vice and crime, the hush-hush underbelly a mainstream press shied from. Corrupt unions were hot as well, there being AFL-CIO hearings in progress as Chicago Confidential awaited release. That was mere coincidence, said producer Robert E. Kent, whose Peerless company supplied CC and five other exploitation titles for UA release. Two million was figured to cover the sextet, modest means for pix with modest expectation. Trashy themes were a cinch for double bills, but outside of union wrangling as focal point, Chicago Confidential was same old palaver done to death since Warners issued tommy-guns twenty-five years before.