The Big Operator

The Big Operator

Charles F Haas (1959)

PG Certificate


Our Score
It's small beer today, but in 1959 this was a real toughie, beginning with a man being chucked into a cement mixer and starring Mickey Rooney - Andy Hardy himself - as a sadistic racketeer who takes the fifth while under investigation by the senate. Rooney had already essayed Baby Face Nelson, and here he creates another memorable and plausible psycho in the fictional Little Joe Braun. Co-star Mamie Van Doren - a sort of rival to Jayne Mansfield - adds classic 1950s allure as the wife of Steve Cochran, whom Rooney has tortured, while Mel Tormé cruises along nicely until Mickey has him torched. It's tempting to see the whole film as an allegory about the McCarthy witch hunts.


A crooked union boss tries to rid himself of the people he knows can testify against him and expose his crimes. Crime drama, starring Mickey Rooney and Steve Cochran.

Cast & Crew

Little Joe Braun Mickey Rooney
Bill Gibson Steve Cochran
Mary Gibson Mamie Van Doren
Director Charles F Haas

Other Information

Language: EnglishBlack and whiteTheatrical distributor: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer