Big-city newspaper Editor Haven D. Allridge starts a crusade to smash corrupt small-town sheriff Burke. After Allridge is suddenly intimidated into silence, state's attorney Chick Johnson ... See full summary »
Military investigator Colonel Edwards is assigned a case involving Major Cargill, a Korean War POW who is accused of treason. Although Cargill admits his guilt and Edwards' superiors are ... See full summary »
Theo has had many boyfriends who wanted to marry her. Since her mother, Mrs. Selworth, has been married many times, Theo is unsure of commitment. Without much thought, she finally accepts ... See full summary »
With a ruthless gang terrorizing London, Scotland Yard calls Hugh "Bulldog" Drummond out of retirement. With the help of detective Helen Smith, Drummond infiltrates the gang under an ... See full summary »
After their orphanage burns down, a group of children are being transported west by train to Manitoba. All of them are available for adoption and at a stop at Scourie, Ontario little Patsy ... See full summary »
A thug is convicted and undergoes experimental brain surgery to remove the criminal element in his brain. The operation wipes out all memories of his past life, including where he stashed ... See full summary »
Ted de Corsia
Big-city newspaper Editor Haven D. Allridge starts a crusade to smash corrupt small-town sheriff Burke. After Allridge is suddenly intimidated into silence, state's attorney Chick Johnson continues the fight for right. He discovers that the sheriff is keeping Allridge quiet by threatening to reveal the criminal activities of Allridges son-in-law Randy Stanton. Written by
1951, the Kefauver congressional committee on organized crime and corruption is making headlines, and MGM under new head Dore Schary is trying to make that famously big-budget studio relevant to news of the day. The trouble is that the so-called Tiffany of studios just doesn't have the same feel for gritty material as a Warner Bros. or an RKO. Too bad this film doesn't sustain the harrowing feel of the first 15 minutes, when prominent editor Allridge (Pidgeon) is brutalized after a minor traffic infraction by corrupt Sheriff Burke (Gomez). Allridge's ordeal has the feel of a "sudden nightmare" to it, as if he's been abruptly forced into a savage new world where the old civilized rules no longer apply. It's a backwater county run by the sheriff like a private fiefdom and a jailhouse where inmates rule once the cell door slams shut. I like the way we're shown the difficulties state prosecutor Johnson (Hodiak) encounters in trying to rid the county of Burke and his outlaw regime.
Still and all, the longer the movie lasts, the more momentum it loses, ending with a final 20 minutes of plodding courtroom procedure. There's still some suspense in the air (why did Allridge skip town), but the initial energy has long since dissipated. At least part of the problem lies with uninspired direction that can't sustain the early sense of tension and evil. Too bad noir maestros like Phil Karlson or Anthony Mann weren't running the show. Those reviewers contrasting this film with Karlson's similar Phenix City Story are right on target. Nonetheless, the movie does have its moments, along with a vibrant turn from the under- rated Audrey Totter who never seemed to get the recognition her talent deserved.
8 of 9 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?