Barry Sulivan is a cynical gangster who controls the Neptune Beach waterfront. He runs a numbers racket with the local soda shop owner: the police are in his pocket and the local hoods are on his payroll.
Mike Reese, yellow journalist and antihero, prints a story that leads to a gang killing, and is blacklisted from the city papers under suspicion of ties with racketeer Carl Durham. So, with a shrug, he makes the suspicion come true, then elbows his way into the editorship of the local paper in a small town where, opportunely, a sensational murder case threatens to destroy the family of newspaper magnate E.J. Stanton. When a black servant is made the patsy for this killing, Reese helps himself by helping her...but proves a dangerous ally. Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
Dan Duryea is one of the best actors out there, able to play the slimiest slime-ball and the staunchest of heroes. Here he does a little of both and you're never sure which side he's on. The movie starts as a Noir Crime Thriller, then becomes a 30's-style social drama, then switches back to noir and crime -- but it never loses its style, its verve and its pace. Constantly fun and involving, due to Duryea's movable morals -- and to Stanley Cortez's gorgeous black-and-white cinematography. Director/Writer Endfield does a fine job keeping things going, setting up interesting shots and corralling a cast that's great down to every tiny part. Bad Guy Howard Da Silva chews the scenery with relaxed gusto and is a joy to watch. Highly recommended.
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