Chicago cop Johnny Kelly, dissatisfied with his job and marriage, would like to run away with his stripper girlfriend Angel Face, but keeps getting cold feet. During one crowded night, Angel Face decides she's had enough vacillation, and crooked lawyer Biddel has an illegal mission for Johnny that could put him in a financial position to act. But other, conflicting schemes are also in progress... Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I tried my best to help you the same as I helped others in the past. You, Lydia, the first time I saw you...
I was selling coffee and hamburgers behind a counter in a railroad station.
Yes, I had an hour to kill.
And you used it to murder years of my life.
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This film set in Chicago in 1952 starts ponderously with a voice-over of 'the voice of the city', strangely that of actor Chill Wills (whose voice is more that of a cowpoke or a ranch hand, thus highly unsuitable for this purpose), who then appears in the crime story as a ghostly police sergeant representing the spirit of the city. Really, we could have done without those affectations, and Wills's acting attempts to be mysterious are worse. However, setting all that aside, the rest of the film is a pretty straightforward crime drama which is very good. Gig Young plays a disillusioned policeman vacillating between leaving and staying with his wife and quitting and keeping his job. One wants to kick him so that he stops dithering, but the story requires him to be like that. There are some strong performances: Mala Powers is good as a wild love interest of Young's, Edward Arnold is suave and persuasive as a bent criminal lawyer, Marie Windsor as usual is svelte and corrupt, and William Talman is very effective as a bonkers criminal who wants to shoot everybody, and nearly does. It's all good entertainment, if you look the other way when the pontificating is going on. One needs to take it with a pinch of paprika (the director, John Auer, was Hungarian).
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