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This noir B thriller from 20th Century Fox shows the temptations that the police are under. William Gargan stars and plays a doggedly honest cop who has a homicide literally dropped on his doorstep at the precinct headquarters. It's almost like someone was taunting the cops to solve this one.
The victim in Behind Green Lights was a seedy private detective who had a nice sideline in blackmail and no one really is going to mourn his passing. But the case is loaded with political implications because Carole Landis, daughter of the reform candidate for mayor was seen leaving the victim's apartment.
The largest newspaper in town is supporting the current administration and Roy Roberts says that the easiest thing in the world for Gargan to do to advance his career is pick up Landis and book her. At least until the election is over which will be in a few days. Something about Roberts sticks in Gargan's craw. He could easily justify holding Landis and helping his career, but he won't do it.
There's a nice array of suspects and by definition performances. There are two keys here, a very sleazy medical examiner played by Don Beddoe and a bag lady played by Mabel Paige. Between the two of them the real story comes out.
Behind Green Lights bears no small resemblance to Detective Story in structure. Most of the action takes place in the police station. This film is nicely paced with a few good comic touches. I can't mention them because they are within the plot structure and not just added on. This noir film is a good one to check out.
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