A police lt. is ordered to stop investigating deadly crime boss Mr. Brown, because he hasn't been able to get any hard evidence against him. He then goes after Brown's girlfriend who despises him, for information instead.
A down-on-his-luck ex-GI finds himself framed for an armored car robbery. When he's finally released for lack of evidence--after having been beaten up and tortured by the police--he sets out to discover who set him up, and why. The trail leads him into Mexico and a web of hired killers and corrupt cops. Written by
In Kansas City, the criminals Peter Harris (Jack Elam), Boyd Kane (Neville Brand) and Tony Romano (Lee Van Cleef) are individually hired by a stranger (Preston Foster) that plots the robbery of an armored car after receiving the money from a bank in the next door of a flower shop. However, each one of them wears masks and does not know the identities of the others; therefore they can not recognize each other. They succeed in the heist of 1.2 million dollars and escape in a van of the Western Florists, and the mentor of the robbery gives tickets to them to travel abroad, promising to share the money later. Meanwhile the decorated soldier and ex-con driver of the Western Florists van Joe Rolfe (John Payne) that is delivering flowers in the shop is framed. He is accused of participating of the heist, arrested and tortured by the police, loses his job, and when the police recognizes the mistake, he is released. Unemployed, he discovers that Peter Harris went to Tijuana, and he decides to chase the criminal and request one fifth of the amount.
"Kansas City Confidential" is a great film-noir, with a good story and development of the characters. John Payne has an excellent performance in the role of a former war hero that tries to have a straight life after some gambling problems, but is framed, loses his job and the rest of his honor and sees his picture in the front page of the news, becoming impossible to find a new job. This injustice triggers his search for the real criminals, not seeking for justice, but a share of the money. The characters, with the exception of the sweet Helen Foster, have some sort of amoral behavior, as usual in this genre. My vote is eight.
Title (Brazil): "Os 4 Desconhecidos" ("The 4 Unknown")
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