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Attorney John Webb, is fighting the crooked political-ring headed by newspaper publisher Vincent Cushing and his crony George Joyce, the district attorney. When Alma Brehmer, Cushing's mistress and Webb's former sweetheart, is murdered, Cushing and Joyce try to railroad Webb as the killer. Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
Tone down or even lose Ruth Terry's character and you have a great film
The overriding story of the film - the murder of a well-known party girl (Claire Dodd) whose body is discovered by crusading attorney John Webb (Pat O'Brien) who also happens to be a former boyfriend - and things don't look good for our hero who is instantly murder suspect number one. Furthermore Webb is trying to get the goods on graft king Vincent Cushing (Edward Arnold). Webb thinks Cushing did the murder and set him up to take the fall, and thus spends the rest of the movie trying to clear his name. The movie is well-paced and everything is moving along in an interesting fashion when every few minutes - like interference on a radio channel - in pops Ruth Terry's character and her incessant yammering. She has her eye set on Webb from the moment she sees him although she says she's 18 and he looks old enough to be her father. She lies about her background, so why couldn't she be lying about her age? If Webb were smarter he'd be equally as worried about getting involved in a statutory rape rap as he is murder. What girl of 18 gets dressed up in a revealing gown, goes to a party full of known hoods, and then is shocked when one puts the moves on her? Or doesn't have the sense to NOT take her dress off in front of a grown man when she's alone in his apartment? She's either 13 or she doesn't have all of her marbles.
I waste so much time on Terry's character here because it distracts from what could have been a very good film. I took off two stars just for the annoyance factor alone. Other than that - and its a big "that"
the film is a great noir with an interesting twist at the end. Robert
Osborne said that director Tay Garnett became ill during filming and Walter Wanger had to finish the film out himself with Garnett very upset at the end result. I can only guess that Mr. Garnett's objections were the same as mine.
3 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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