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.
Johnny Farrell is a gambling cheat who turns straight to work for an unsettling casino owner Ballin Mundson. But things take a turn for Johnny as his alluring ex-lover appears as Mundson's wife, and Mundson's machinations begin to unravel.
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
When Lee Marvin first sees Glenn Ford face to face, the music in the background is "Put the Blame on Mame," a reference to Ford's performance in Gilda (1946). See more »
Near the end of the film, Dave Bannion has an altercation with his brother-in-law's old army buddy in the stairwell. When he enters the apartment a second later, the sleeves of his suit are suddenly rolled up. See more »
A violent story about a detective working in a corrupt department who investigates the apparent suicide of a fellow officer. Worth seeing for Glenn Ford's prototypical performance and Gloria Grahme's show stealing portrayal of a boozing moll with a conscience. With facial disfigurement and cigarette burns it took violence up a notch from the standard gun play of the past, making it grimmer and more realistic, and giving the story more punch. Grahme's tough and tender role stands out and gives the film a tragic element, while certain of its portrayals of greed and corruption (namely the dead officer's wife) stand out for their attention to detail. In the end, it IS the details that give this formulaic story its clout, and we can thank director Fritz Lang for that.
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