13 West Street

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13 West Street
13 West Street .jpg
Directed by Philip Leacock
Screenplay byBernard C. Schoenfeld
Robert Presnell Jr.
Based onThe Tiger Among Us (1957) by Leigh Brackett
Produced byWilliam Bloom
Alan Ladd
Starring Alan Ladd
Rod Steiger
CinematographyCharles Lawton, Jr.
Edited by Al Clark
Music by George Duning
Color process Black and white
Ladd Enterprises
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release date
  • June 6, 1962 (1962-06-06)
Running time
80 minutes
CountryUnited States

13 West Street is a 1962 American neo noir crime film directed by Philip Leacock and starring Rod Steiger and Alan Ladd whose own production company produced the film. [1] It was based on the 1957 novel The Tiger Among Us (1957) by Leigh Brackett, who called the film "very, very dull". [2]



For no discernible reason, scientist Walt Sherill is assaulted and viciously beaten by a group of well-dressed young men, the opposite of a slum dwelling street gang, when he is walking alone on a deserted street. When the police, including investigating juvenile officer Detective Koleski, are in his opinion too slow and too busy in finding the culprits, Sherill decides to go after them on his own.

Sherill proves to be an amateur sleuth at best, going over ground that the police have already covered. His wife uncomfortably watches him buy a gun and take target practice on tin cans. One night, Sherill spots a convertible that resembles one belonging to his assailants, and tails it at high speed. The driver is a frightened teenage girl who calls the police, and Sherill spends an uncomfortable night in the holding tank before Koleski has him released.

Sherill hires Finney, a private investigator, whose work leads him to Chuck Landry, the gang's leader. Sherill's non-stop search for revenge causes one member of the gang to commit suicide. Landry counters by luring Finney to a dangerous section of road where he is killed, then coming to Sherill's home where he menaces his wife, then plans to shoot Sherill when he returns home. Landry escapes from the police but as Sherill knows his address, he goes directly to the boy's home and beats him savagely. On the verge of killing him by drowning him in his family's swimming pool, Sherill finally relents, turning Landry over to Koleski to be placed under arrest.



Leigh Brackett's novel The Tiger Among Us was originally published in 1957. [3] Film rights were purchased by producer Charles Schnee, who had just left MGM and signed a deal with Columbia Pictures. He hired John Michael Hayes to write the script. [4] John Wayne was announced as a possible star. [5] It was then reported that Valentine Davies was working on the script, which had been retitled Fear No Evil. [6] Production plans were delayed when Schnee announced he was leaving Columbia, claiming he was unable to get any of his films in development made because of "almost insurmountable casting difficulties." [7] The project stayed with Columbia and was assigned to producer Boris Kaplan. Roger Presnell wrote a version of the script. [8] Philip Leacock was given the job as director and Alan Ladd and Rod Steiger were cast in the leads. [9] The title The Tiger Among Us was changed out of fear audiences might expect a jungle film. The new title was 13 East Street then Alan Ladd requested "east" be changed to "west". "The story concerns a teenage gang from Los Angeles east side but I suggested the locale be switched to the swank purlieu of Bel Air", said Ladd. "I have nothing against Bel Air but I want to show that juvenile delinquency can breed in exclusive areas too." [10]

Filming started April 1961. [11]

See also

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  1. Richard Harland Smith, "13 West Street", Turner Classic Movies accessed 12 January 2013
  2. Brackett, Leigh (July 1975). "Leigh Brackett — An Audio Interview" (Interview). Interviewed by Tony Macklin. Archived from the original on 2015-03-28. Retrieved 30 May 2015. 55m
  3. ANTHONY BOUCHER (13 Jan 1957). "Report on Criminals at Large". New York Times. p. BR11.
  4. Schallert, Edwin (4 Oct 1957). "Henreid Will Direct 'Take Five From Five' Teen-age Scourge Due". Los Angeles Times. p. A9.
  5. Schallert, Edwin (Oct 14, 1957). "Bromfield Seeks Desi Arnaz as Star; Wills Livens 'Hell Bent Kid'". Los Angeles Times. p. C11.
  6. "FILM EVENTS: Anna Lee in Hudson Film Play". Los Angeles Times. Aug 23, 1958. p. 12.
  7. THOMAS M. PRYOR (Jan 30, 1959). "WALD, NEGULESCO TO TEAM ON FILM: Director and Producer Will Make 'Best of Everything' -- Schnee Settles Pact". New York Times. p. 33.
  8. "ALAN LADD FILM NAMES DIRECTOR: Robert Webb Is Signed for 'Guns of Timberland' -- Columbia Adds Writers". New York Times. Mar 24, 1959. p. 45.
  9. Hopper, Hedda (15 Mar 1961). "'Critic's Choice' Film to Star Hank Fonda". Chicago Daily Tribune. p. b5.
  10. Scott, John L. (Nov 19, 1961). "Marriage at First Sight". Los Angeles Times. p. O22.
  11. Scheuer, Philip K. (Apr 20, 1961). "California 'Feud' Will Engage Ladd: Zanuck Consults Literateurs; Gordons Package Lee Remick". Los Angeles Times. p. B13.