When FBI Agent Zack Stewart is killed, Agent John Ripley takes over the three cases he was working on, hoping one will lead to his killer. The first involves gangster Joe Walpo and Ripley ... See full summary »
Political corruption is vividly depicted as a ruthless WWI veteran takes almost complete control of a state with the help of a crooked lawyer. The film is enhanced by John Payne's persuasive performance as "The Boss."
When he runs short of money, a newspaper reporter pawns a police revolver he was given after he helped the police solve a case. Later on the gun is used in a murder, and the reporter is suspected of committing the crime.
Two slick con-artists plan to cap their success with a really big score by impersonating a psychic.
Actors Brooke and Conway together at last. In fact, shady sophistication doesn't come any better. Except here, Brooke's Mary is given a battered conscience, compromising her usual icy demeanor, while Conway's Kingsley manages his usual suave persona. The movie starts out really well with a couple of slick swindle operations by the two. Gypping the greedy pawnshop owner is both cleverly done and perversely satisfying. But then, when Mary goes into a stage act and private dick Kingsley hangs around the police station like a regular cop, the narrative becomes a real stretch. After all, that big swindle operation in the nightclub must involve fifty collaborators, any one of which could blow the whole fake mind-reading act. At the same time, would real cops let a shady PI go along with them on official business. Too bad, the con game springs a leak after such a clever start.
Impresario Stone appears unsure about how much documentary approach to use. After all, this was a time when Dragnet's semi-documentary style was lighting up TV sets. Nonetheless, the movie's very well mounted, using abundant location shots and persuasive interiors. And I really like Stone's boldness in using a nearly obese Kruschen as a cop at a time when movie cops looked anything but. All in all, however, it's a movie that shows early promise before believability begins to scatter.
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