The Films of Mike Mazurki

by robertstrom | created - 07 Aug 2018 | updated - 07 Aug 2018 | Public

Professional wrestler Mike Mazurki got his break in Hollywood with Mae West hired him as her bodyguard. West was forced to give her jewelry to gangsters after they threatened to throw acid in her face. The actress wanted Mazurki nearby at all times. This meant giving him a roll in Belle of the Nineties (1934). Mazurki returned to wrestling until director Josef von Sternberg approached him following a wrestling match and offered him a part in The Shanghai Gesture (1941). When the studio felt he resembled Victor Mature, Mike's head was shaved and the 6ft 5in Ukrainian-born Mazurki was cast as The Coolie. From the release of The Shanghai Gesture until Warren Beatty's Dick Tracy in 1990 Mazurki never stopped working. He may be best remembered as the quintessential film noir thug. This image was born when he played Moose Malloy opposite Dick Powell and Claire Trevor in the noir classic Murder, My Sweet (1944). More films noir followed including Summer Storm (1944), Mysterious Intruder (1946), Nightmare Alley (1947), I Walk Alone (1948), Abandoned (1949), Rope of Sand (1949), Dark City (1950), Night and the City (1950), Pier 23 (1951), Man in the Vault (1956) and The Man Who Died Twice (1958). Mike Mazurki's life and career are the subject of my fourth book: Moose Malloy, My Sweet – The Authorized Biography of Mike Mazurki (BearManor Media 2019) – Robert Stom

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1. Belle of the Nineties (1934)

Passed | 73 min | Comedy, Drama, Musical

Ruby Carter, the American Beauty queen of the night club-sporting world, shifts her operations from St. Louis to New Orleans (which kind of belies the Western genre designation), mostly to ... See full summary »

Director: Leo McCarey | Stars: Mae West, Roger Pryor, Johnny Mack Brown, John Miljan

Votes: 541

2. Black Fury (1935)

Approved | 94 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

An immigrant coal miner finds himself in the middle of a bitter labor dispute between the workers and the mine owners.

Director: Michael Curtiz | Stars: Paul Muni, Karen Morley, William Gargan, Barton MacLane

Votes: 677

3. The Last Alarm (1940)

Approved | 61 min | Action, Adventure, Crime

A veteran firefighter is forced to retire at age 65 by the Fire Department. However, when one of his friends dies in a blaze set by a serial arsonist, the now retired fireman teams up with ... See full summary »

Director: William West | Stars: J. Farrell MacDonald, Warren Hull, Polly Ann Young, Mary Gordon

Votes: 131

4. The Shanghai Gesture (1941)

Approved | 95 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

In Shanghai, dragon-lady 'Mother' Gin Sling operates a gambling house for wealthy patrons but she clashes with influential land developer Sir Guy Charteris who wants to put her out-of-business.

Director: Josef von Sternberg | Stars: Gene Tierney, Walter Huston, Victor Mature, Ona Munson

Votes: 2,387

5. Dr. Renault's Secret (1942)

Passed | 58 min | Horror, Mystery, Romance

Dr. Larry Forbes visits the château of Dr. Robert Renault, uncle of his fiancée Madelon, who is idolized by Renault's assistant, a strange émigré from Java.

Director: Harry Lachman | Stars: J. Carrol Naish, Shepperd Strudwick, Lynne Roberts, George Zucco

Votes: 403

6. The Moon and Sixpence (1942)

Approved | 89 min | Drama, Romance

Loosely inspired by Gauguin's life, the story of Charles Strickland, a middle-aged stockbrocker who abandons his middle-class life, his family, and his duties to start painting, as he has ... See full summary »

Director: Albert Lewin | Stars: George Sanders, Herbert Marshall, Doris Dudley, Eric Blore

Votes: 692

7. That Other Woman (1942)

Approved | 75 min | Comedy, Romance

Secretary Emily Borden is in love with her boss, Henry Summers, but he is too involved with Constance Powell to notice. Ralph is interested in Emily, but she has no interest in him. Emily's... See full summary »

Director: Ray McCarey | Stars: Virginia Gilmore, James Ellison, Dan Duryea, Janis Carter

Votes: 25

8. Gentleman Jim (1942)

Approved | 104 min | Biography, Drama, Romance

As bareknuckled boxing enters the modern era, brash extrovert Jim Corbett uses new rules and dazzlingly innovative footwork to rise to the top of the top of the boxing world.

Director: Raoul Walsh | Stars: Errol Flynn, Alexis Smith, Jack Carson, Alan Hale

Votes: 3,011

9. It Ain't Hay (1943)

Approved | 80 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

Adaptation of the Damon Runyon story 'Princess O'Hara', in which the horse of a street vendor is replaced by a racehorse.

Director: Erle C. Kenton | Stars: Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, Grace McDonald, Cecil Kellaway

Votes: 790

10. Prairie Chickens (1943)

Approved | 48 min | Action, Comedy, Western

Another in the Roach "streamliner" series of semi-westerns top-billing Jimmy Rogers (Jimmy) and Noah Beery, Jr. (Pidge) as out-of-work cowhands. This one is a showcase - in some instances ... See full summary »

Director: Hal Roach Jr. | Stars: Jimmy Rogers, Noah Beery Jr., Joe Sawyer, Marjorie Woodworth

Votes: 30

11. Taxi, Mister (1943)

Approved | 46 min | Comedy, Romance

Its is NYC in 1928 and taxi-cab owners Tim McGuerin and Eddie Corbett are making a hard-scrabble living with the one tumbledown cab they have between them, and take shifts driving. They ... See full summary »

Director: Kurt Neumann | Stars: William Bendix, Grace Bradley, Joe Sawyer, Sheldon Leonard

Votes: 40

12. Mission to Moscow (1943)

Approved | 124 min | Drama, History, War

Ambassador Joseph Davies is sent by FDR to Russia to learn about the Soviet system and returns to America as an advocate of Stalinism.

Director: Michael Curtiz | Stars: Walter Huston, Ann Harding, Oskar Homolka, George Tobias

Votes: 801

13. Bomber's Moon (1943)

67 min | Adventure, Drama, War

American bomber pilot Captain Jeff Dakin is shot down on a bombing raid over German-held territory. As his crew bails out, Jeff sees his bombardier brother, Lt. Danny Dakin, machine-gunned ... See full summary »

Directors: Edward Ludwig, Harold D. Schuster, John Brahm | Stars: George Montgomery, Annabella, Kent Taylor, Walter Kingsford

Votes: 45

14. Behind the Rising Sun (1943)

Approved | 88 min | Drama, War

In Japan, foreigners and their Japanese friends are caught up in the rising tide of militarism.

Director: Edward Dmytryk | Stars: Margo, Tom Neal, J. Carrol Naish, Robert Ryan

Votes: 284

15. Thank Your Lucky Stars (1943)

Approved | 127 min | Comedy, Musical

Two producers are putting together a wartime charity show with an all-star cast but the egotism of radio personality Eddie Cantor disrupts their plans.

Director: David Butler | Stars: Eddie Cantor, Dennis Morgan, Humphrey Bogart, Bette Davis

Votes: 1,442

16. Swing Fever (1943)

Approved | 79 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

Lowell Blackford (Kay Kyser) is blessed with a gift of music,but also cursed with a hereditary "evil eye" which hypnotizes people,and he is virtually a recluse. He goes in search of a ... See full summary »

Director: Tim Whelan | Stars: Kay Kyser, Marilyn Maxwell, William Gargan, Nat Pendleton

Votes: 152

17. Henry Aldrich Haunts a House (1943)

73 min | Comedy

Henry Aldrich swallows a serum by accident and ends up in a "haunted" house.

Director: Hugh Bennett | Stars: Jimmy Lydon, Charles Smith, John Litel, Olive Blakeney

Votes: 121

18. Whistling in Brooklyn (1943)

Passed | 87 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

Radio crime show host "The Fox" finds himself on the trail of a serial killer while a suspect himself.

Director: S. Sylvan Simon | Stars: Red Skelton, Ann Rutherford, Jean Rogers, Rags Ragland

Votes: 514

19. Lost Angel (1943)

Passed | 91 min | Drama

Alpha's been raised along scientific principles, and will make Mike Regan a great human interest story for his paper. But when his interview prompts Alpha to run away from the institute and... See full summary »

Director: Roy Rowland | Stars: Margaret O'Brien, James Craig, Marsha Hunt, Philip Merivale

Votes: 497

20. Shine on Harvest Moon (1944)

Approved | 112 min | Biography, Musical

Biographical movie about the early 20th century Broadway stars Nora Bayes and Jack Norworth.

Director: David Butler | Stars: Ann Sheridan, Dennis Morgan, Jack Carson, Irene Manning

Votes: 259

21. Summer Storm (1944)

Approved | 106 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

In this filmed Chekhov adaptation, Olga is an alluring peasant woman who lures cynical aristocrat Fedor away from his milquetoast fiancée, with tragic consequences.

Director: Douglas Sirk | Stars: Linda Darnell, George Sanders, Anna Lee, Edward Everett Horton

Votes: 391

22. The Canterville Ghost (1944)

Passed | 95 min | Comedy, Fantasy

The descendent of a ghost imprisoned for cowardice hopes to free the spirit by displaying courage when under duress.

Directors: Jules Dassin, Norman Z. McLeod | Stars: Charles Laughton, Robert Young, Margaret O'Brien, William Gargan

Votes: 2,273

23. The Missing Juror (1944)

Approved | 66 min | Mystery

In a major murder case, jurors are threatened and attacked. One of them disappears, and the detective Joe Keats looking for the guilty.

Director: Budd Boetticher | Stars: Jim Bannon, Janis Carter, George Macready, Jean Stevens

Votes: 164

24. The Princess and the Pirate (1944)

Approved | 94 min | Adventure, Comedy, Romance

A cowardly actor and a runaway princess are voyaging on a ship that is captured by a notorious pirate who recently buried his treasure on a secretly mapped island.

Directors: David Butler, Sidney Lanfield | Stars: Bob Hope, Virginia Mayo, Walter Brennan, Walter Slezak

Votes: 1,693

25. Murder, My Sweet (1944)

Approved | 95 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

After being hired to find an ex-con's former girlfriend, Philip Marlowe is drawn into a deeply complex web of mystery and deceit.

Director: Edward Dmytryk | Stars: Dick Powell, Claire Trevor, Anne Shirley, Otto Kruger

Votes: 11,164

26. The Horn Blows at Midnight (1945)

Approved | 78 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Music

Falling asleep during the Paradise Coffee ("The Coffee that Makes You Sleep") Program, the band's third trumpeter dreams he's Athanael, an angel deputized to blow the Last Trumpet at ... See full summary »

Director: Raoul Walsh | Stars: Jack Benny, Alexis Smith, Dolores Moran, Allyn Joslyn

Votes: 1,126

27. The Spanish Main (1945)

Passed | 100 min | Adventure, Drama, Romance

After being wronged by the Caribbean authorities, a Dutch captain turns pirate to wage war.

Director: Frank Borzage | Stars: Paul Henreid, Maureen O'Hara, Walter Slezak, Binnie Barnes

Votes: 1,415

28. Bud Abbott and Lou Costello in Hollywood (1945)

Approved | 83 min | Comedy

When two bumbling barbers act as agents for a talented but unknown singer, they stage a phony murder in order to get him a plum role.

Director: S. Sylvan Simon | Stars: Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, Frances Rafferty, Bob Haymes

Votes: 2,046

29. Dick Tracy (1945)

Approved | 61 min | Action, Crime, Mystery

Police detective Dick Tracy must identify and apprehend a serial killer known as Splitface.

Director: William Berke | Stars: Morgan Conway, Anne Jeffreys, Mike Mazurki, Jane Greer

Votes: 1,124

30. Dakota (1945)

Passed | 82 min | Western

In 1871 Dakota, two crooked businessmen oppose the local wheat farmers and the railroad development, in order to control the town of Fargo.

Director: Joseph Kane | Stars: John Wayne, Vera Ralston, Walter Brennan, Ward Bond

Votes: 1,208

31. The Thin Man Goes Home (1944)

Approved | 100 min | Comedy, Crime, Mystery

Nick and Nora visit Nick's hometown, and end up involved in a murder.

Director: Richard Thorpe | Stars: William Powell, Myrna Loy, Lucile Watson, Gloria DeHaven

Votes: 4,581

32. Live Wires (1946)

Approved | 65 min | Comedy, Crime

Slip, who has difficulties in keeping a job for too long, is hired by the District Attorney's office to serve summons and warrants to problematic citizens.

Director: Phil Karlson | Stars: Leo Gorcey, Huntz Hall, Mike Mazurki, Bobby Jordan

Votes: 307

33. Mysterious Intruder (1946)

Approved | 61 min | Film-Noir, Mystery

The fifth entry in the Columbia series based on the CBS radio program, "The Whistler", opens with kindly old music store owner Edward Stillwell (Paul E. Burns) hiring private detective Don ... See full summary »

Director: William Castle | Stars: Richard Dix, Barton MacLane, Nina Vale, Regis Toomey

Votes: 397

34. The French Key (1946)

Approved | 64 min | Mystery, Thriller

Private detective Johnny Fletcher and his sidekick Sam Cragg skip out on their rented room, but when they sneak back to retrieve their luggage, they discover a dead body on the bed, holding... See full summary »

Director: Walter Colmes | Stars: Albert Dekker, Mike Mazurki, Evelyn Ankers, John Eldredge

Votes: 20

35. Sinbad, the Sailor (1947)

Approved | 116 min | Adventure, Fantasy, Romance

In medieval Persia, during the rule of Caliph Harun-Al-Rashid, Sinbad the Sailor boasts about his latest adventures to his friends.

Director: Richard Wallace | Stars: Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Maureen O'Hara, Walter Slezak, Anthony Quinn

Votes: 1,699

36. Killer Dill (1947)

Approved | 75 min | Comedy, Crime

Door-to-door salesman Johnny Dill, the exact double of a notorious gangster, finds himself struck between the forces of good and evil.

Director: Lewis D. Collins | Stars: Stuart Erwin, Anne Gwynne, Frank Albertson, Mike Mazurki

Votes: 90

37. Unconquered (1947)

Passed | 146 min | Adventure, Drama, History

Intrepid frontiersman Chris Holden foils the political and personal ambitions of renegade Martin Garth in the Ohio Valley following the French and Indian War.

Director: Cecil B. DeMille | Stars: Gary Cooper, Paulette Goddard, Howard Da Silva, Boris Karloff

Votes: 1,946

38. Nightmare Alley (1947)

Passed | 110 min | Drama, Film-Noir

The rise and fall of Stanton Carlisle, a mentalist whose lies and deceit prove to be his downfall.

Director: Edmund Goulding | Stars: Tyrone Power, Joan Blondell, Coleen Gray, Helen Walker

Votes: 6,758

39. I Walk Alone (1947)

Approved | 97 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

Frankie Madison leaves prison expecting a share from his ex-partner. But Prohibition bootlegging didn't prepare Frankie for Big Business.

Director: Byron Haskin | Stars: Burt Lancaster, Lizabeth Scott, Kirk Douglas, Wendell Corey

Votes: 1,992

40. Relentless (1948)

Passed | 93 min | Romance, Western

Framed for a murder he didn't commit, a cowboy must stay one step ahead of the law as he hunts for the real killer.

Director: George Sherman | Stars: Robert Young, Marguerite Chapman, Willard Parker, Akim Tamiroff

Votes: 263

41. The Noose Hangs High (1948)

Not Rated | 77 min | Comedy

Two window washers mistakenly receive, and lose, 50 grand belonging to a shady bookie who wants his money back, or else.

Director: Charles Barton | Stars: Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, Joseph Calleia, Leon Errol

Votes: 951

42. Neptune's Daughter (1949)

Not Rated | 95 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

A swimsuit fashion designer is determined to protect her scatterbrained sister from a South American heart-breaker, but a case of mistaken identity complicates matters.

Director: Edward Buzzell | Stars: Esther Williams, Red Skelton, Ricardo Montalban, Betty Garrett

Votes: 1,206

43. Come to the Stable (1949)

Approved | 94 min | Comedy, Drama

Two nuns arrive unannounced in the small New England town of Bethlehem, where they recruit various townspeople to help them build a children's hospital.

Director: Henry Koster | Stars: Loretta Young, Celeste Holm, Hugh Marlowe, Elsa Lanchester

Votes: 999

44. Rope of Sand (1949)

Not Rated | 104 min | Adventure, Film-Noir

A man abused by a sadistic mining company cop before he could tell where on their desert property he'd found diamonds decides to steal them instead.

Director: William Dieterle | Stars: Burt Lancaster, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains, Peter Lorre

Votes: 1,094

45. The Devil's Henchman (1949)

Approved | 68 min | Crime, Drama

Insurance agent Jesse Arno is posing as a sailor while on the trail of a gang of waterfront thieves, supposedly headed by Tip Banning. Arno is aware that a gang member has been murdered by ... See full summary »

Director: Seymour Friedman | Stars: Warner Baxter, Mary Beth Hughes, Mike Mazurki, Peggy Converse

Votes: 50

46. Abandoned (1949)

Approved | 79 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

6.6