Detective Chris Kelvaney has a brother, Eddie, who also is a policeman. He witnessed a murderer running away from the scene of the crime. Chris has contacts with the gangster Beaumonte, who... See full summary »
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Edward G. Robinson,
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Detective Chris Kelvaney has a brother, Eddie, who also is a policeman. He witnessed a murderer running away from the scene of the crime. Chris has contacts with the gangster Beaumonte, who is willing to pay $15,000 if Eddie withdraws his testimony. But Eddie is an honorable cop and refuses. Beaumonte makes sure that Eddie is killed. After his death, Kelvaney starts to track down his brother's killer. Written by
When Father Ahearn comes to the police station to talk to Chris, he puts his right hand on Chris's left shoulder in the over-the-shoulder shot, but the cut to the master reveals his left hand on Chris's right shoulder. See more »
In the law and order 1950's, crooked cops were not exactly a box office item, especially from a studio that prided itself on wholesome entertainment. But head executive Louis B. Mayer had been forced out of MGM in favor of the more current Dore Schary who promised harder- hitting films on subjects more topical than Andy Hardy.
I guess it's easier to shift personnel than it is to change tradition, because this crime drama has neither the look nor the feel of the real thing. In short, the movie's an antiseptic treatment of a seamy subject, and all Robert Taylor's tedious tough talk or George Raft's gangster reputation can't muddy up the sheen.
Note Taylor's impeccable suits, the glamor girls in high-class outfits, the uncluttered studio sets, and especially the high-key lighting that robs the visuals of any hint of ambiguity. Unfortunately, director Roy Rowland brings next to nothing to the project, filming in the most pedestrian style possible. This is a film that cries out for at least something of a noir approach to bring out the menace and moral conflict implicit in the screenplay.
Note too, how many punches are pulled from the final ambulance scene to the redeemed bad girls to the fist-fight with muscular Vince Edwards-- as a matter of fact, the movie could have used more of Edwards' convincing style. Note in particular, how the killing of the two innocents is done off camera, depriving the drama of the kind of visual impact it so clearly needs. Simply nibbling around the edges of evil with an unsmiling ex-matinée idol is not enough.
Too bad a studio like RKO or Warner Bros. of the 40's didn't get hold of the property first. They could have done it up right. MGM may have been great for lavish productions like costume drama and musicals, but crime drama simply did not fit their style. And not even Dore Schary could change that.
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