Jerry McKibbon is a tough, no nonsense reporter, mentoring special prosecutor John Conroy in routing out corrupt officials in the city, which may even include Conroy's own police detective father as a suspect.
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Carl Martin is a morose and deranged Los Angeles gardener, who,in retribution for the infidelity of his unfaithful wife, sets about to kill as many blonde's as he can. From the time the film opens, to the sound of a radio turned up full-blast over the still-warm corpse of a blonde, the audience knows the identity of the killer. The film depicts, with documentary realism as it was shot on location in and around Los Angeles, how the police, using laboratory techniques against the few clues they have, track down Martin. Their key clue is a spring from a pair of garden shears. The police move in just as Martin is about to add Jane Saunders, the daughter of a greenhouse owner, to his long list of victims. Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
This story of a serial killer came out 55 years ago. It's dated primarily in that it isn't gory and graphic. At moments, it feels as if it's about to go that way. But of course the censors wouldn't have allowed it.
The director, though not in anyone's pantheon, has great noir cred. "Down Three Dark Streets" alone is something to be very proud of.
The pace is just right. The acting, by people wholly unknown to me, is professional and convincing.
We know almost from the start who the killer is. It's a matter of whether and when he will be caught. The film languishes more on his bland good looks than on the appearance of any of his victims. He's nice enough looking: rather baby-faced. We see him without his shirt in a long, not extraneous, scene.
The attention paid to the killer reminded me of "The Sniper," which came out at the same time. "The Sniper" is better known and was done on a higher budget. But I wouldn't say it's better. This is a very good, scary movie.
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