Jack Early is a go getting photographer who is determined to make a name for himself. He manages to be hired by a major San Francisco newspaper and from then on he is prepared to do anything to achieve his aim. Undaunted by anything, Early sinks into the underworld where gang boss Nick Palmer takes him under his wing. Thanks to him, Jack can take sensational snapshots of heisters at work. Which is not enough for him. Soon, thinking he is protected by the compromising photos he keeps taking, he starts manipulating and double crossing hoodlums, including his mentor Nick Palmer... Written by
A rising star photographer starts using his journalistic influence for personal profit... and sets two gangsters against each other. Ruthless and cynical, with one of the most despicable protagonists this side of Mike Hammer. This guy is a real piece of work, a sleazy manipulator who doesn't care who suffers for his gain. Howard Duff (probably best known to noir aficionados for THE NAKED CITY) plays it completely unsympathetic, delivering his lines with barely concealed contempt and ambition. The supporting performances are all pretty good, too, with special mention for the always intimidating Lawrence Tierney. The story is lean and mean, like the production. It's a decidedly low-budget affair, a little more polish might have amped up the tension (though I should note I watched a very rough copy). The film doesn't pack much of an emotional punch, but it is a down and dirty good time.
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