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Rogue Cop

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Rogue Cop
Theatrical Film Poster
Directed byRoy Rowland
Screenplay bySydney Boehm
Based onthe novel
by William P. McGivern
Produced byNicholas Nayfack
StarringRobert Taylor
Janet Leigh
George Raft
CinematographyJohn F. Seitz
Edited byJames E. Newcom
Music byJeff Alexander
Distributed byMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date
  • September 17, 1954 (1954-09-17) (United States)
Running time
92 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$2,509,000[1]

Rogue Cop is a 1954 film noir directed by Roy Rowland, based on the novel by William P. McGivern, and starring Robert Taylor, Janet Leigh, and George Raft.[2]


Christopher Kelvaney is a crooked police officer who takes bribes and payoffs from criminals and other nefarious folk. His brother Eddie is a young member of the police force who is honest and loyal.

In a penny arcade, a drug dealer is stabbed to death by a man who claims the territory for himself, and Eddie witnesses a gangland murder. Mob boss Dan Beaumonte gives orders to Kelvaney to buy his brother's silence. Eddie refuses, and Kelvaney is unable to persuade Eddie's sweetheart, nightclub singer Karen Stephenson, to change his mind.

The ruthless Beaumonte brutally mistreats his moll Nancy Corlane, who then tries to help Kelvaney do what he has to do. Kelvaney exposes the fact that Karen was once a mobster's girlfriend in Miami. He gets her to admit that she's not in love with Eddie and is willing to let him go if it will save his life.

An out-of-town button-man named Langley is brought in to kill both brothers, but succeeds only in killing Eddie. His conscience aroused, Kelvaney goes after the mob leaders himself. He admits his corruption to superiors, but asks for a chance to bring them evidence that will put Beaumonte and others behind bars, particularly after Nancy is also found murdered. Kelvaney succeeds in gaining revenge for his brother.



The film was based on a 1954 novel by William McGiven, who had written the novel on which The Big Heat was based. The New York Times called it "a classic study in guilt, retribution and atonement - without for an instant forgetting to tell an exciting story of swift action."[3]

MGM bought the screen rights prior to publication in November 1953 and assigned Nicholas Nayfack to produce. Sidney Boehm, who had adapted The Big Heat, wrote the script.[4]

In March 1954 MGM assigned Robert Taylor to star, with shooting to begin in May. Filming was pushed back on another Taylor film, Many Rivers to Cross.[5]

In April 1954 Roy Rowland was assigned to direct[6] Support roles were given to Janet Leigh, Steve Forrest and George Raft; the latter was making his first "A" picture in some years.[7]

It was the last film Leigh made under her contract at MGM where she had been for eight years.[8]

Anne Francis was cast as Raft's moll. Francis described it as "the one part I've been waiting for" and it led to her being signed to a long term contract by MGM.[9]


Box Office

According to MGM records the film earned $1,417,000 in the US and Canada and $1,092,000 elsewhere resulting in a profit of $920,000.[1]

Critical response

Film critic Bosley Crowther gave the film a positive review and wrote, "This is not a new thesis. They've been making movies on it for years. And Rogue Cop is not so exceptional in its construction or performance that it is likely to cause surprise. But it is a well-done melodrama, produced and directed in a hard, crisp style, and it is very well acted by Robert Taylor in the somewhat disagreeable title role...For what it is in the line of crime pictures, there's a lot to be said for Rogue Cop."[10]

It led to a brief comeback in "A" pictures for George Raft.[11]




  1. ^ a b c The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study.
  2. ^ Everett Aaker, The Films of George Raft, McFarland & Company, 2013 p 159
  3. ^ Criminals at Large By ANTHONY BOUCHER. New York Times 2 May 1954: BR28.
  4. ^ 5% WAGE RISE SET FOR FILM WORKERS: Union and Producers Reach Agreement on 4-Year Pact Retroactive to Oct. 25 By THOMAS M. PRYORSpecial to THE NEW YORK TIMES. New York Times 5 Nov 1953: 40.
  5. ^ COLUMBIA ASKING RIGHTS TO MUSICAL: Lot Owns Drama Version of 'My Sister Eilean,' but Wants Title to 'Wonderful Town' Special to THE NEW YORK TIMES. New York Times 30 Mar 1954: 24.
  6. ^ SCENARIST SIGNS TO BE A DIRECTOR: Richard Murphy Will Work in Dual Capacity on 'Gentle Wolfhound' at Columbia By THOMAS M. PRYORSpecial to The New York Times. New York Times 2 Apr 1954: 23.
  7. ^ Drama: Raft Sinister 'Rogue Cop' Star; Eighth Film for Stewart, Mann Set Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times 3 Apr 1954: 17.
  8. ^ JANET LEIGH SIGNS CONTRACT AT U.-I.: Actress, Leaving M-G-M After 8 Years, to Make 4 Films -- Also Seeks Columbia Pact By THOMAS M. PRYORSpecial to The New York Times. New York Times 17 Apr 1954: 7.
  9. ^ Actress' Tenacity Pays Off: Tenacity of Anne Francis Gets Results in Hollywood Hopper, Hedda. Los Angeles Times (10 Oct 1954: D1.
  10. ^ Crowther, Bosly. The New York Times, film review, September 18, 1954. Last accessed: January 18, 2008.
  11. ^ Vagg, Stephen (February 9, 2020). "Why Stars Stop Being Stars: George Raft". Filmink.
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