A private eye escapes his past to run a gas station in a small town, but his past catches up with him. Now he must return to the big city world of danger, corruption, double crosses and duplicitous dames.
Dave Bannion is an upright cop on the trail of a vicious gang he suspects holds power over the police force. Bannion is tipped off after a colleague's suicide and his fellow officers' suspicious silence lead him to believe that they are on the gangsters' payroll. When a bomb meant for him kills his wife instead, Bannion becomes a furious force of vengeance and justice, aided along the way by the gangster's spurned girlfriend Debbie. As Bannion and Debbie fall further and further into the Gangland's insidious and brutal trap, they must use any means necessary (including murder) to get to the truth. Written by
Actor Rex Reason was originally cast in this movie to portray Tierney or Detective Burke, but his agent was negotiating for him to play a bigger role in it, possibly that of Lee Marvin's villain, but since there was no agreement reached, Reason did not appear in the movie, even though some 1950s era books and magazines sources give him credit for this movie. See more »
When Bannion lets the dead Debby's hand go, it gently moves downward obviously still under her control. See more »
[Debby surveys Bannion's undistinguished hotel room]
Hey, I like this. Early nothing!
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Effective film noir about a cop fighting the mob as well as his own corrupt superiors as he investigates a murder. Ford has perhaps the best role of his career as the good cop. His scenes with wife Brando are very nicely handled, adding poignancy to the tragedy that would befall the family. There are shades of Dirty Harry as Ford takes matters into his own hands. Marvin and Grahame are also good as a mobster and his moll, respectively. Lang, a master of this sort of film-making, keeps things moving at a snappy pace. Some of the violence is jarring but of course nothing graphic is shown, given the era the movie was made in. After an excellent start, the second half of the film becomes somewhat routine but it still packs a punch.
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