Down Three Dark Streets (1954)

Approved  |   |  Crime, Drama  |  2 September 1954 (USA)
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Reviews: 18 user | 4 critic

When FBI Agent Zack Stewart is killed, Agent John Ripley takes over the three cases he was working on, hoping one will lead to his killer. The first involves gangster Joe Walpo and Ripley ... See full summary »



(screenplay) (as The Gordons) , (screenplay) (as The Gordons) , 3 more credits »
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Complete credited cast:
FBI Agent John 'Rip' Ripley
Kate Martell
Connie Anderson
Julie Angelino
Dave Millson (as Casey Adams)
FBI Agent Zack Stewart
Gene Reynolds ...
Vince Angelino
William Johnstone ...
FBI Chief Frank Pace
Harlan Warde ...
FBI Agent Greg Barker
Jay Adler ...
Uncle Max Charles Martell
Matty Pavelich
Suzanne Alexander ...
Brenda Ralles
Myra Marsh ...
Mrs. Downes
Joe Bassett ...
Joe Walpo aka Joe Allen


When FBI Agent Zack Stewart is killed, Agent John Ripley takes over the three cases he was working on, hoping one will lead to his killer. The first involves gangster Joe Walpo and Ripley finds his hideout through Joe's girl friend, Connie Anderson. Joe is killed but it is established he was 400 miles away when Stewart was murdered. The next involves a car-theft gang which Ripley breaks up by using one of the gang, Vince Angelino and his wife Julie. The last case involves Kate Martell, the victim of an extortionist who threatens to kidnap her child unless she pays him $10,000. Written by Les Adams <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Down This Street Raced Dead-End Violence... Down This One Stretched Excitement Taut As Silk!


Crime | Drama


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

2 September 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Drei dunkle Stra├čen  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
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User Reviews

Which of the three?
25 April 2015 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Before J. Edgar Hoover stopped fogging mirrors in 1972 you would not see a film that did not show the Federal Bureau Of Investigation as less than dedicated and perfect. Stripping the man's paranoia away from him, Hoover did bring a certain order and professionalism to the FBI and when they stuck to crime and criminals as opposed to just amassing files on the world they did a good job. Like any other law enforcement agency when one of their own is killed in the line of duty everything stops until the perpetrator is caught.

Down These Dark Streets is one of the few films you'll see where someone who is a detective will be shown having more than one case. Indeed that is the crux of this plot. Which one of three cases did agent Kenneth Tobey get killed over by a sniper's bullet?

His supervisor Broderick Crawford takes over and the three cases are a case of an organized car theft ring where young Gene Reynolds is about to take a fall in federal prison because he won't rat out the leaders. Maybe it's notorious fugitive Joe Bassett who is armed and dangerous and who already killed a gas station attendant who rather stupidly called the FBI before Bassett was clear from his station. Or there's Ruth Roman who is being extorted for an insurance settlement by a stranger threatening her child on the phone.

Crawford takes on all three cases and systematically solves them and eliminates a lot of suspects. He's as thorough a professional as all big screen FBI men were at the time.

Take note of Martha Hyer who plays Joe Bassett's kept moll. Martha was one of the most beautiful women ever to grace the screen and here she shows some real acting chops in her scenes with Crawford.

Down Three Dark Streets is a crisp and competent police drama with a great ensemble cast. Definitely a must for noir fans.

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