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Man Against the Mob (also known as Trouble in the City of Angels) is a 1988 NBC television movie directed by Steven Hilliard Stern,[1] starring George Peppard, Kathryn Harrold and Max Gail. Man Against the Mob is a precursor of the 2013 theatrical feature Gangster Squad, in that it deals with the post-war formation of a special LAPD unit set up to suppress Organized Crime in Los Angeles. It may have been inspired by the success of the 1987 theatrical feature The Untouchables, a period drama which also depicted an elite law enforcement unit pitted against mobsters. This was designed around the actor George Peppard as a tough LA cop in the late 1940s. A December 10, 1989 NBC-TV movie followup, Man Against the Mob: The Chinatown Murders, is a sequel that also stars Peppard, reuniting him with his co-star from The Blue Max, Ursula Andress.[2] The first movie was a pilot of a proposed NBC series entitled City of Angels but ended up panning out as only the two TV movies before George Peppard died in 1994.[3][4]

Man Against the Mob
Trouble in the City of Angels.jpg
DVD cover and poster
Written byDavid J. Kinghorn
John Rester Zodrow
Directed bySteven Hilliard Stern
StarringGeorge Peppard
Kathryn Harrold
Max Gail
Stella Stevens
Barry Corbin
Theme music composerArtie Kane
Original language(s)English
Executive producer(s)Robert M. Sertner
Frank von Zerneck
CinematographyNeil Roach
Editor(s)Barrett Taylor
Running time100 minutes
Production company(s)Von Zerneck Sertner Films
Worldwide Media
(USA, TV, original airing)

Audio Visual Enterprises
(Greece, VHS)

Lorimar Television
(Brazil, VHS)
Original networkNBC
Picture formatColor
Audio formatMono
Original release
  • January 10, 1988 (1988-01-10)
Followed byMan Against the Mob: The Chinatown Murders


Background and plotEdit

Investigating a brutal homicide, Peppard discovers that the killing is more than a common sex crime. A trail of evidence leads Peppard to a group of visiting Chicago mobsters, and ultimately to several of Los Angeles' better known citizens. Set in Los Angeles in the 1940s just after the War, the script has some pointed humour and there are witty lines and dialogue exchanges. Kathryn Harrold plays a War widow who is the love interest. He has lost his wife, Kathryn has lost her husband, and they both slowly get attracted to one another. Steven Stern does a satisfactory job of directing. Peppard's character is heroic, straight and honest, and fights the Mob's attempts to come in from New Jersey and infiltrate L.A., and they are being aided by an entire division of corrupt L.A. cops known as 'Metro Division'. Peppard escapes several assassination attempts, won't give up, and becomes pretty much a lone wolf as his few supporters are killed around him. Stella Stevens plays an owner of a nightclub. Part of the shooting of the movie was done at the Drake Hotel in Chicago as well as older historic hotels in Los Angeles in the MacArthur Park area.[5]

Featured castEdit

Actor Role
George Peppard Frank Doakey
Kathryn Harrold Marilyn Butler
Max Gail Rusty Kitchens
Barry Corbin Big Mac McCleary
Fredric Lehne Sammy Turner
Stella Stevens Joey Day
Norman Alden Capt. Necker
Cheryl Anderson Grace Kitchens
Paul Sylvan Vinny DeMarco

Production information, crew, credits, misc.Edit

  • Production Companies: NBC, Von Zerneck Sertner Films, Worldwide Media
  • Executive Producers: Frank Von Zerneck, Robert M. Sertner
  • Producers: Phillips Wylly Sr., Steven Hilliard Stern
  • Co-Producer: John Rester Zodrow
  • Associate Producer: Susan Weber-Gold
  • Director: Steven Hilliard Stern
  • Editor: Barrett Taylor
  • Negative cutter: Susanne Gervay
  • Assistant Editor: Bob Leader
  • Casting: Dick Dinman
  • Music: Artie Kane
  • Music editor: John Mick
  • Music Supervisor: Terri Fricon
  • Extras Casting: Bill Dance
  • Actors/musicians (in club scenes): Luis Bonilla, Jack Cooper, Phil Feather, Alan Parr, Charlie Richard
  • Production Manager: Phillips Wylly Sr.
  • Assistant Directors: Ray Marsh, James J. Fitzpatrick
  • Location Managers: Flip Wylly, Barry S. Jones
  • Script Supervisor: Lee Nowak
  • Production Coordinator: Anne Hart
  • Production Designer: Shay Austin
  • Set Decorator: Debra Combs
  • Sound, Sound mixer: Richard Lightstone
  • Sound re-recording: Wayne Artman, Tom Beckert, Tom Dahl
  • Sound Effects: Rich Harrison
  • Director of Photography: Denis Lewiston
  • Camera Operator: Monty Rowan
  • Costumes: Donna Roberts-Orme
  • Hair Stylist: DeAnn Power
  • Makeup: Davida W. Simon

Critiques, reviews, ratingsEdit

There is an interesting entry by James Robert Parish in his book Prostitution in Hollywood films: plots, critiques, casts, and credits for 389 theatrical and made-for-television releases (1992) talking about the plot and the use of prostitution as part of the two Man Against the Mob TV movies.[6]

  • review

"...thanks to George Peppard's performance the film scored excellent ratings when first telecast in 1988. A 1989 TV-movie followup, Man Against the Mob: The Chinatown Murders failed to match the ratings of the first effort." Hal Erickson - Allrovi[7]


1989 Edgar Allan Poe AwardsEdit

  • Best Television Feature or Miniseries writing: David J. Kinghorn


  1. ^ Roberts, Jerry. Encyclopedia of Television Film Directors. Scarecrow Press, 2009. pp. 569.
  2. ^ Drew, Bernard A. Motion Picture Series and Sequels: A Reference Guide (eBook). Routledge. 2013. Entry 477A.
  3. ^ Terrace, Vincent. Encyclopedia of Television Pilots, 1937-2012 McFarland (eBook), Jan 1, 2013. entry 2804
  4. ^ Blockbuster Video guide to movies and videos, 1996, Dell Pub., 1995. pp. 719
  5. ^ Corcoran, Michael. Bernstein, Arnie Hollywood on Lake Michigan: 100+ Years of Chicago and the Movies, Chicago Review Press (eBook), 2013.
  6. ^ Parish, James Robert. Prostitution in Hollywood films: plots, critiques, casts, and credits for 389 theatrical and made-for-television releases. McFarland, 1992. pp.263
  7. ^ Erickson, Hal. Review and Write up, Allmovie Guide

External linksEdit