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Edward G. Robinson,
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Alfred E. Green
Edward G. Robinson,
Escaping from a Canadian prison farm, master thief Gerard Dennis (David Brian) makes his way to Buffalo with Peggy Arthur (Perdita Chandler), who supplies him with money needed for forged papers. Dennis, Peggy and a crooked bartender in a Buffalo hotel pull a robbery in which Dennis is almost caught, but he escapes to find his accomplices have deserted him. Later, confronting them, he is badly beaten and is taken to a hospital where he meets nurse Martha Rollins (Marjorie Reynolds), who falls in love with him. They go to New Rochelle where he is wounded attempting another robbery. Martha performs the necessary surgery, believing that he will give up his life of crime. When she finds him in New York with another girl, Martha gives the police his picture and hideout location, but he escapes the police trap. He flees to Los Angeles where he meets wealthy divorcee Mrs. Arthur Vinson (Jacqueline De Wit), whose confidence he wins in order to systematically rob her society friends' jewels. Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
Peter Godfrey directs a Borden Chase script of one of the Warner Brothers' "ripped from the headlines" B movies. Although several sequences recall other, better remembered movies -- the prison escape is a fast-track version of a similar bit from I AM A FUGITIVE FROM A CHAIN GANG -- the best description I can offer is that this is a criminal procedural -- the hows and wherefores of how a crook goes about his profession, instead of the more familiar police procedurals, of how they are caught.
Peter Godfrey, who never got out of the Bs despite some great work, is very sure-handed in his direction, with bit of dark humor shot through the work. Bill Lava's obtrusive score is heavy-handed, but the rambling, worried lead character played by David Brian is very real, and the treacherous world he lives in is well captured by Chase, who started out as a gangster's chauffeur -- until Al Capone had his boss killed and Chase decided to go into a safer line of work.
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