Jerry McKibbon is a tough, no nonsense reporter, mentoring special prosecutor John Conroy in routing out corrupt officials in the city, which may even include Conroy's own police detective father as a suspect.
Harry and Eve Graham are trying to adopt a baby. The head of the agency senses Harry is keeping a secret and does some investigating. He soon discovers Harry has done an unusual amount of ... See full summary »
A vicious cop kills a bookie's runner and steals $25,000 from the corpse. He then frames everyone in sight in order to keep the money to buy a new home for his would-be lounge singer girlfriend. Written by
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Unfortunately roles for talented middle-aged actors like Edmond O'Brien and Ida Lupino were drying-up in the mid-1950's, with TV replacing the old black-and-white B-movie. Lupino carried on with a successful career behind the camera, and it appears O'Brien was exploring that option too, by co-directing this independent production. The results however are pretty uneven. O'Brien gets to sweat his usual bucket-load, playing a cop corrupted by the allure of a tract house in burgeoning suburbia. (Now there's a departure!-- in fact, one of the curious attractions is a tour through the well-appointed tract home of the period, something that glitzy Hollywood never had much time for.) There's also some well-staged scenes-- the shoot-out around the public pool is both unusual and well-executed, while the beating in the bar reaches a jarringly brutal pitch that registers on the stricken faces of the patrons and O'Brien's contorted brow.
However, the pacing fails to generate the excitement or intensity a thriller like this needs. Plus the performance level really drops off with English and Agar. Their conversation around the pool, in fact, amounts to a seminar in bad acting. Too bad, O'Brien didn't have the budget to surround himself with a calibre of actors equal to his own. In passing-- the guy playing the deaf-mute really jarred me. He looks so unlike the usual bit-player and is so well cast that the scene in his room with O'Brien comes across as more than just a little poignant. Also, more than just a hint of kink emerges with Carolyn Jones' well-played barfly nympho. She's clearly on her way up the casting ladder. Anyway, there's probably enough compensation here to make up for Agar and English and the listless scenes in the station house, particularly for those curiosity seekers wondering about Better Homes and Gardens 1950's style.
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