by Artie Richard

I remember coming back from football practice, probably in 1948 since the movie came out in 49, only to find the entire block of Bevy Ct. from Allen to Bijou closed. Edmund Flood and I were standing right at the corner of Bijou, which was blocked by autos and roped off.

"The City Across the River" was being filmed and we watched a convertible slowly turn from Allen and come to a stop in front of Jimmy Finlayson’s house over and over. The gang members jumped from the car and entered the house again and again. At some point a young lady, probably the assistant director, walked over and gave Edmund and me $5 each for our practice jerseys for two of the actors to wear. About an hour later she returned with the jerseys, but we kept the money. A kid named Dunn O’Neill got $10 dollars to skate down the block and John got the same to ride his bike down the block. Of course the last two had to get parental approval first. Mrs. Wrigler was filmed hanging laundry out in the yard across the street. In all there was filming of events up to and including the drive up to the house and a scene in the yard and one in the house.

The movie was a filming of Irving Shulman’s gritty book "The Amboy Dukes." In it the head of an urban community center (Stephen McNally) tries to reform the criminally inclined Dukes. They were Frank Cusack, Benny Wilks, Mitch (Tony Curtis), Bull (Richard Jaekel), and "Crazy" Perrin. Only Mitch and Bull survive to continue the Shulman trilogy.

In the film much is made of the making of "zip guns" in the school shop. Of course we then did the same thing. They were all .22 cal. and not very accurate. This was one of about four movies made by newcomer Tony Curtis, any one of which could be considered his first.

Submitted 9/13/98

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