When the owner of a printing shop is found dead, the District Attorney assumes that it was a suicide. But the Assistant D.A., Howard Malloy, suspects that there is a connection with an extremist political group called the 'Crusaders'. When a journalist whose articles had attacked the Crusaders is also killed, Malloy is convinced. With help from the widow of a prominent judge, he conducts an investigation. As he does so, he meets a peculiar political boss and also an attractive night club singer, each of whom could become either a source of help or a source of danger. Written by
You know, I was born in this city, Howard. In our block, we had guys from practically every race and religion you ever hear of... and a couple you didn't. But we got along pretty well.
Well, that's the way it ought to be.
In our block, nobody cared what country your parents came from or where they went to church. Nobody called you a nasty name... until you were taught there were nasty names and some people were supposed to be called by them -Micks, Polacks, Wops, Limies, Spics, Hunties.
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This little, low-budget noir mystery is marred by crude direction, cutting, and editing, reminiscent of and no more polished than most live television productions of the same period, and hampered by a heavy handed political script that leaves huge gaps in plot logic.
Its chief interest is as a rare curiosity. Its paranoid politics and style mirror the anti-Communist films of the period, but it was made by a group of primarily liberal and leftist New Yorkers (exemplified by the famous actors who contributed cameo appearances), who turned the usual premise on its head. Franchot Tone plays a liberal crusading "special prosecutor" who investigates a shadowy secret organization that is menacing and killing its own members, whom they think may expose them. But this organization isn't Communist or leftist; rather it's a vaguely racist group that is really just a financial scam, run only to collect membership dues and gather other profits. As a result, even the political statement turns out to be rather weak compared with films of the period that explicitly opposed discrimination, such as "Pinky," "Gentlemen's Agreement," "Crossfire," "Lost Boundaries," "No Way Out," and so on.
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