Watch It

On DVD: Now | On Blu-ray: TBD

Pay or Die Details


Based on real incidents in the life and death of Lt. Joseph Petrosino (Ernest Borgnine) of the New York police force, this tale set between 1906-1909 details the history of the lieutenant's fight to prove Sicilian Mafia involvement in crimes in his city. Lt. Petrosino has a series of dangerous close calls as he distinguishes himself by saving singer Enrico Caruso from a Mafia bomb outside the Metropolitan Opera, and by also saving the father of Adelina (Zohra Lampert) the woman he loves. Several other exploits eventually lead to Petrosino's trip to Sicily to nail evidence for the Mafia's activities in New York, and for a final meeting with destiny. This represented the last screen credit of scenarist Bertram Millhauser, who died in 1958; he had received his penultimate credit nine years before that, on the 1949 Tokyo Joe. ~ Eleanor Mannikka, Rovi

  • Release date:July 27, 1960


Ernest Borgnine
as Lt. Joseph Petrosino
Zohra Lampert
as Adelina Saulino
Renata Vanni
as Mama Saulino
Franco Corsaro
as Vito Zarillo
Robert Simon
as Commissioner
Howard Caine
as Enrico Caruso
John Marley
as Caputo
Mario Siletti
as Loria
Mimi Doyle
as Nun
Mary Carver
as Mrs. Rossi
Paul Birch
as Mayor
Vito Scotti
as Simonetti
Vincent Barbi
as Fabraka
Sherry Alberoni
as Giulia De Sarno
Carlo Tricoli
as Don Cesare
Bart Bradley
as Nicolo
Marian Collier
as Girl from Opera
Joseph Sargent
as Sorgente
Sam Capuano
as Rossi


Richard Wilson
Richard Wilson
Bertram Millhauser
Lucien Ballard
David Raksin
Composer (Music Score)
David Raksin
Musical Direction/Supervision
Fernando Carrere
Production Designer
Darrell Silvera
Set Designer
Lou Lacava
Special Effects
Milt Olsen
Special Effects
Bob Mark
Special Effects