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 <email@example.com>
Very gripping, brutal film noir with John Payne as bad-tempered ex-boxer...
This is definitive film noir where the hero must prove he isn't guilty of a crime and has to deal with the thugs out to frame him and a woman who gets him into more trouble than he ever expected.
JOHN PAYNE excels as the scowling fighter who has a couple of really well-staged fight scenes with JACK LAMBERT and BRAD DEXTER, outside the ring and in the dark underworld of crime and passion.
The surprise of this low-budget thriller is EVELYN KEYES as an ambitious actress who gets Payne unknowingly involved in her attempt to land a Broadway role wherein she plays a nasty trick on him. Then, to make up for her rash behavior and poor judgment, she sticks by him when he needs a witness to prove he didn't murder his wife, played with relish by PEGGY CASTLE.
Under Phil Karlson's direction, it's all wildly unpredictable with enough sub-plots and twists to make it engrossing from start to finish. Payne was after meatier roles after leaving Fox in all of those pretty boy roles and musicals, establishing a new persona as a tough film noir hero, rugged and ready for the fight. He's excellent and so are the other players.
Keyes reveals raw acting talent of astonishing intensity, especially in the key scene where she plays a theatrical trick on him--and the viewer.
As usual, an actor who once played leading roles at Fox, GLENN LANGAN, is wasted in a minor role. FRANK FAYLEN gives his usual reliable performance as Payne's taxi driver friend.
Well worth watching if you're a film noir fan and don't mind a gritty tale that doesn't pull its punches.
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