Other Cowboy Stars — Bob Steele in “The Enforcer”

July 18, 2011

When Steele traded his cowboy hat for a fedora, he ditched the “Bob” and went with “Robert.”  As the leader of a two-man hit team, he’s in charge.  When they target a witness in police custody, his buddy holds the rifle.  He shouts “Now!”

This 1956 film stars Humphrey Bogart.  It’s full of great character actors, including another actor with a great face and a career which lurched from leading to supporting roles and back again.  Mr. Zero Mostel.

This crazy movie treats the very concept of Organized Crime as a brand-new discovery for the seasoned policemen and DA men on the case.  Witnesses say “hit” and “contract” and the cops scratch their heads like, ‘what do these words mean?’  One high-ranking detective even says, “I’ve never heard them in connection to a murder before.”

Steele is great in this role.   Nice swagger.  Cruel smile.  He tells a guy “you don’t have to worry, you’ll be taken care of” before gunning him down.

And, check it out.  That’s Steele doing a very balletic death.

Nice film.  Wish “Robert” had more scenes with Bogie.


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