After years of pursuit, Assistant D.A. Martin Ferguson has a good case against Murder, Inc. boss Albert Mendoza. Mendoza is in jail and his lieutenant Joseph Rico is going to testify. But Rico falls to his death and Ferguson must work through the night going over everything to build the case anew. Written by
Ed Stephan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
After several days of filming, director Bretaigne Windust fell seriously ill and was rushed to the hospital in critical condition. Humphrey Bogart asked his old friend, director Raoul Walsh, to come in and shoot the picture until Windust recovered. Unfortunately, Windust was more seriously ill than most realized, and his recovery took several months, during which Walsh finished the film. However, Walsh refused to take screen credit for it, saying that the picture was Windust's big break and he wasn't going to take it away from him. See more »
When Rico gets in his car at the hideout on his way to fulfill a "contract" in the city, a crew member is visible in the reflection of the window of the car door as it is closed. See more »
[Rico is convinced that Mendoza has escaped from prison, so Ferguson takes him down to Mendoza's cell]
[after looking in]
He's smiling at me...
[looks in again]
Mendoza! Call them off! I'm not going into court! I swear I won't! Tell 'em! I'm not squealing! Please, tell 'em I'm not...
D.A. Martin Ferguson:
Rico! You're gonna talk! Do you hear me? You're gonna talk! You're not blowing up this case! It took four years to put him in that cell and when he walks out he's going to the chair. So you gonna talk, it's the only ...
[...] See more »
This starts off powerfully, with a very interesting scene and some excellent film- noir photography, but after the witness dies, so does the movie in many respects.
From that point on, it's just a bunch of flashbacks. When the "live" scenes reappear, they are not always easy to discern what's going on. The film also becomes too talky too often.
However, the characters are tough and generally interesting, with some good acting. Film-noir-wise, despite the presence of superstar Humphrey Bogart along with guys like Zero Mostel, Everett Sloane and Ted de Corsia, it's average fare for the day. it could - and should - have been better.
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