7.1/10
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51 user 22 critic

The Street with No Name (1948)

A covert FBI agent infiltrates a ruthless gangster mob, but his life is at risk from a mysterious informant who funnels inside information to the hoodlums.

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(original screen play)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Chief Bernard Harmatz
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...
...
Cy Gordon
Walter Greaza ...
Police Lt. Paul Staller
...
Commissioner Ralph Demory
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Storyline

After two gang-related killings in "Center City," a suspect (who was framed) is arrested, released on bail...and murdered. Inspector Briggs of the FBI recruits a young agent, Gene Cordell, to go undercover in the shadowy Skid Row area (alias George Manly) as a potential victim of the same racket. Soon, Gene meets Alec Stiles, neurotic mastermind who's "building an organization along scientific lines." Stiles recruits Cordell, whose job becomes a lot more dangerous... Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

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Here's The Real-Life Drama Of The FBI Counter-Attack Where Law And Order Break Down! See more »


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Approved | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

13 September 1948 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

Manhunt  »

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Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Just after Mark Stevens steps off the bus in Center City, he walks past a movie theater with a poster out front, advertising his co-star, Lloyd Nolan, in Manila Calling (1942). (Nolan himself appears in the previous scene, only 30 seconds before his name is seen on the movie poster.) See more »

Goofs

When the load of newspapers is thrown on the rain-soaked street from the moving vehicle it rolls over ensuring that both sides have been exposed to the street's wetness. However the resultant cut-in shows the news headlines clean and dry with no hint of dirt or moisture. See more »

Quotes

Inspector George A. Briggs: We know gangsterism is returning.
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Connections

Featured in Los Angeles Plays Itself (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Baby Face
(1926) (uncredited)
Music by Harry Akst
Played on the arcade piano
Also played at the saloon
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User Reviews

 
Few-frills agent-in-peril noir benefits from Widmark, Stevens
19 February 2002 | by See all my reviews

J. Edgar Hoover, it now seems, was a mediocre crimefighter but a master orchestrator of his own publicity (and only secondarily that of the FBI). The Street With No Name stands as one of the better films dedicated to kissing his assiduously cultivated legend. Most directors assigned these tasks in the noir cycle wrote off such idolatry as a cost of doing business, clearing it away quickly so as to get on with their moviemaking; William Keighley follows this sensible agenda.

FBI agent Mark Stevens goes undercover to infiltrate the mob in that cesspool of crime, Center City, USA. In the boxing ring, he attracts the attention, slightly open to inference, of boss Richard Widmark, a dapper ("I like my boys to look sharp") cutthroat with a morbid fear of drafts and sneezes. With the aid of confederate John McIntyre, Stevens reports the gang's plans back to the FBI. Alas, a high-placed informant in the police department reports the FBI's plans back to Widmark.

So the movie boils down to the agent-in-peril story. Keighley tells it cleanly and briskly, eschewing the complexities (both visual and moral) of Anthony Mann's T-Men, released just a few months earlier. It's strongest in the feel for Center City's raffish tenderloin, with its fleabag hotels, pool halls and walk-up gyms. Stevens, McIntyre and Lloyd Nolan (as Stevens' superior) give workmanlike jobs with the rather staid roles scriptwriter Harry Kleiner supplies. His few-frills approach reins in Widmark, too, who's always better when he's unfettered and shooting over the top.

The Street With No Name suffers a bit from staying so resolutely all-guy; thus Barbara Lawrence suffers, too, in an underwritten and inconsequential part as Widmark's abused moll. A little more cool yin might have balanced out all that hot, hard yang.

NOTE: In 1955, Samuel Fuller remade -- and rethought -- this movie, using the same screenwriter and cinematographer (Joe MacDonald, now working in color) as House of Bamboo, set in postwar Tokyo.


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