Sexy beautician Clara Calhoun, who has a bookie operation in her back room, connives with her boyfriend, mob collector Duke Martin, to stage a robbery of the day's take. But the caper turns violent; a cop and Duke's partner are shot; and Duke arranges for innocent Steve Ryan, owner of the car they stole, to be framed. At first homicide detective Mickey Ferguson thinks Steve is guilty, despite his attraction to Steve's sister Rosie. And the suave but ruthless Duke won't hesitate to keep it that way with more of his perfumed bullets... Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Re-titled, and edited down to less than thirty minutes, it was sold to television in the early 1950's as part of a syndicated half hour mystery show. See more »
When Detective Ferguson is reading Duke Martin's criminal record, it shows Duke's Date of Arrest as 7-2-44, but his Date of Birth as 11-14-44, implying that he was arrested 4 months before he was born. See more »
Another winner from film noir extraordinaire Anthony Mann
Top billing for "Railroaded!" goes to the great actor John Ireland who plays the coldblooded killer Duke Martin. Today, Ireland is perhaps best remembered for his role as the gunslinger, Cherry Valance, in the John Wayne western classic "Red River" and for his Academy-Award- nominated performance as a reporter in another Hollywood classic "All the King's Men." Duke Martin, as with most of the heavies in noir flicks, is a misogynist. But this time the woman hater doesn't get away with it completely. Both Clara Calhoun (Jane Randolph) and Rosie Ryan (Sheila Ryan) put him in his place. When Duke misquotes Oscar Wilde, "Some women should be beaten regularly, like gongs" (it was actually Noel Coward who used the line), Clara is quick to respond to the effect that if that line belonged to Oscar Wilde, then let him have it. When Rosie and Duke first meet at Duke's club, Duke calls women "dames." Rosie responds sharply, "I don't like that term." Duke backs up and uses the still somewhat derogatory "gals."
The plot involves Rosie's brother, Steve, portrayed by unknown actor Ed Kelly, who only made three films to my knowledge. Duke and his girlfriend, Clara, frame Steve for a bookie heist, during which time a patrolman is killed. The police are after a quick conviction and are getting ready to go to trial and ask for the death penalty when Police Sgt. Mickey Ferguson (Hugh Beaumont, aka Ward Cleaver) falls for Rosie and decides that her brother may not be guilty after all. Ferguson attempts to help Rosie find the real murderer when Rosie decides to conduct her own investigation by becoming chums with Duke. This all leads to more murders until the ultimate confrontation between Ferguson and Duke. The film is fast-paced and somewhat violent for its day.
The creative use of darkness and shadow was an important ingredient of noir cinema, but as one IMDb reviewer has already noted, there is so much darkness in "Railroaded!" that at times it is difficult to see what is happening. One reason for this may be viewing the film on a TV screen. Perhaps on the big screen there was no problem. Outside of this minor weakness, "Railroaded!" is a winner all the way.
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