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Charles 'Chic' Sale,
Joe Sullivan is itching to get out of prison. He's taken the rap for Rick, who owes him $50 Grand. Rick sets up an escape for Joe, knowing that Joe will be caught escaping and be shot or locked away forever. But with the help of his love-struck girl Pat and his sympathetic legal caseworker Ann, Joe gets further than he's supposed to, and we are posed with two very important questions: Is Joe really the cold and heartless criminal he appears to be, or is there a heart of gold under that gritty exterior? And does Joe belong with the tough, street-wise Pat, or with the prim, moralizing Ann? Written by
Martin Lewison <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Enjoyable noir outing enlivened by a first rate cast, solid script and typically solid Alton camerawork. O'Keefe is right at home as Joe, the hotheaded lug with his own code and unlucky streak. Trevor is at her fatalistic best as the true blue moll who is meant for him but gets stepped over. Hunt is appealing and credible as the fresh-faced moralist who tries to change Joe but winds up changed, instead. Burr is an effective heavy, albeit a bit too wimpy at the end. Toomey, Bissell, and Ireland are all competent as well.
Alton uses multiple familiar Malibu locations to good advantage. The cinematography is excellent.
The script is particularly effective, building as Joe slowly discovers how he has been set up and deceived by basically everyone to some degree. Claire Trevor's struggle to come clean at the end is a moving and suspenseful section and the violent climax is curiously redeeming and satisfying. Noir fans should definitely give this one a look- not as famous as your typical Bogey or Mitchum entry, but just as iconic in its own way.
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