Homicide detective Mike Conovan investigates the shooting of fellow detective Monigan...who apparrently was moonlighting as guard for a bookie. He finds that all the bookies in town are ... See full summary »
Homicide detective Mike Conovan investigates the shooting of fellow detective Monigan...who apparrently was moonlighting as guard for a bookie. He finds that all the bookies in town are being robbed, most upsetting to the racket bosses who can't get normal police protection. Mike encounters blind alleys and double crosses, and is distracted by his wife's growing disenchantment. Lots of police slang. Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
MGM is not a studio known for noir. This procedural is toothless and insincere, with a plot that's barely worth paying attention to (something about a dead cop and bookies, I dunno). Van Johnson in the lead comes up short, he doesn't handle the hard-boiled lingo very well. But some of the accoutrements are pretty hot stuff. This is my third Roy Rowland (fourth if you count his "Crime Does Not Pay" short) and as he proved in ROGUE COP and WITNESS TO MURDER he definitely has a good track record with the genre. The photography is excellent (though some of the sets look pretty cheap), the dialogue crackles, there's some nice touches like the diegetic music during a big fight scene, and the film has some awesome supporting performances. Norman Lloyd (so great), Gloria DeHaven ("A figure like champagne and a heart like the cork"), and Robert Gist really shine, and John McIntyre is always terrific. There's a lot to love in this movie and at first I was thrilled to be watching it. After a while, however, the ho-hum story becomes harder to care about. I really wanted to like this more, but despite its flaws there's definitely some worthwhile elements.
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