A police lt. is ordered to stop investigating deadly crime boss Mr. Brown, because he hasn't been able to get any hard evidence against him. He then goes after Brown's girlfriend who despises him, for information instead.
United States Treasury agents O'Brien and Genaro infiltrate a counterfeiting ring which has some dangerously good paper. This is supposedly based on several actual Treasury cases. Written by
Erik Gregersen <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Some nice shadowy photography by John Alton and a well-paced storyline directed with style by Anthony Mann, makes for a diverting crime melodrama in crisp documentary style that was popular in the early to mid-'40s. Think BOOMERANG, THE HOUSE ON 92nd STREET, 13 ROUE MADELEINE and other Fox melodramas of that era.
But this was done on a poverty row budget by Eagle-Lion with the usually light-weight actor DENNIS O'KEEFE in the sort of role usually handed to someone like Dana Andrews, Mark Stevens, John Hodiak or William Eythe if the film was made at Fox.
He's surprisingly good as a noir hero whose task is to infiltrate a counterfeit gang with another Federal man, posing as would-be counterfeiters, and thus providing a succession of suspenseful moments where our hero is in danger of being exposed as a T-man for the government. Even more effective, in lesser roles, are CHARLES McGRAW and WALLACE FORD. In fact, McGraw would have been an even better choice for the lead than O'Keefe, his tight-lipped bearing and impressive physique suiting him for the role of a dangerous noir hero.
June Lockhart has only a fleeting appearance in one brief scene but others in the cast are properly sinister or authoritative, according to the way the script depicts the supporting characters.
Summing up: Worth a look, but not at the top of the film noir greats due to a script that is only slightly above average.
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