Johnny Damico botches a murder case and is suspended from the force. In reality, he is put undercover to identify the mysterious boss of the NY waterfront who has murdered everyone in his way. Will Johnny be next in line?
Sherry Conley, a street tough and cynical woman with an unhappy family background, is taken from prison to a hotel, where the DA tries to convince her to testify against a mobster. Sherry ... See full summary »
Edward G. Robinson,
Julia Ross secures employment, through a rather-noisy employment agency, with a wealthy widow, Mrs. Hughes, and goes to live at her house. Two days later, she awakens in a different house ... See full summary »
Joseph H. Lewis
Dame May Whitty,
A security leak is found at a Southern California atomic plant. The authorities stand in fear that the information leaked would go to a hostile nation. To investigate the case more ... See full summary »
Eddie Shannon is an undersized, sports-car mechanic who dreams of racing an expensive car in a European meet. He meets and falls in love with Barbara Mathews, and thinks she loves him. She introduces him to Steve Norris and Harold Baker, who ask him to drive the getaway car in a bank robbery they are planning. He refuses, but changes his mind after some gentle persuasion from Barbara. The job is pulled off and, following a wild getaway, Eddie learns that Barbara was just using him and that Steve and Harold have plans to kill him. Gritty retribution is just around the corner. Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
As other reviewers point out, America's favorite little guy was at a career crossroads at this point (1953). All in all, this downbeat low-budget caper film was a gutsy choice for MGM's former golden boy. Not only is Rooney's Eddie Shannon a rather pathetically repressed and vulnerable nobody, but the script stays entirely within that character, allowing Rooney none of his usual assertive (and often annoying) antics. The result is perhaps the biggest departure of his career, and also perhaps the most moving.
The film itself is a good one, benefiting from unfamiliar Southern Cal locations, excellent acting from a number of up-&-comers, Jack Kelly , Kevin McCarthy, et al., and a plausible script. As a caper film, it's inferior to the best ones of that decade (The Asphalt Jungle, The Killing, etc.), but as an account of one man's sad and lonely plight (never a Hollywood biggie), it holds its own with the best of them, thanks to Rooney.
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