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Having lost his heavyweight championship match, boxer Ernie Driscoll now drives a taxi for a living and earns the scorn of his nagging wife, Pauline, who blames him for her lack of social status. Involved with jewel thief Victor Rawlins, Pauline is murdered by him when she impedes his ability to fence the jewels. Blamed for his wife's murder, Ernie must track down Rawlins before he leaves the country. Written by
Doug Sederberg <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Extra! Extra! Hard-Nosed Crime Thriller K.O.'s the Competition!
Wow! Here's a nifty little noir that doesn't pull its punches. Frank, nasty and brutal, it's the story of an ex-boxer with a bad temper who's still boiling over the defeat that ended his career four years earlier. Now he's driving cab and dreaming of better times ahead when he finds out his wife is fooling around on him. He does another dishy dame a favour only to be played for a sucker. And it's still early in the evening. By the middle of the night he's mixed up with murder and a nest of scumbags. I've had bad days - and nights - but nothing like this.
This movie has energy to spare, and conviction, and characters who get under your skin one way or another. The hero, Ernie (John Payne), is a seething cauldron, and that's okay because he's up for a good fight, not so okay for his wife (Peggie Castle) who wants out. You'd want him on your side, though - even if he's down for the count he'll always get up to fight another round. The dish (Evelyn Keyes) turns out to have what it takes, and her acting and seducing skills make for a dynamite scene near the end. For once the writers know what to do with a back story, with the boxing theme skillfully played throughout the movie and orchestrated into a white-knuckle climax and satisfying conclusion. As for Keyes and that scene - the movie could have been called "Cashmere Becomes Her" - it's hot, hot, hot! When she lights her cigarette from sleazoid Brad Dexter's smoldering fag tip, the tendrils of smoke caressing both their faces, I had to pinch myself to see if I was having a wet dream. Sex and violence are the key ingredients here - and cinematic exuberance. You couldn't ask for more. Just have your Nicorettes handy.
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