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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
Edmond O'Brien uses his detective shield to shield his murder and robbery
O'Brien robs and kills a collector of bookie receipts and makes it look like it was done in the line of duty. His superior, Emile Meyer, sees no reason to disagree, but his buddy, John Agar, begins to find some loose ends, especially when he receives a tip from an eye witness and that witness is murdered.
O'Brien has soured on people in general and the cops around him. He's tired of the low pay, and he wants to do them one better. He sees them as chumps. He has plans. They include marrying Marla English and moving up materially by buying a new house. What he does is terribly unconventional, but what he aspires to is terribly conventional. He's drawn to that house and its furnishings (it's a model home) and so is Ms. English. The American Dream goes awry here.
O'Brien finds himself eventually pursued by both cops and by the head bookmaker, Hugh Sanders, who has two heavies after him, one being Claude Akins, always completely convincing. There's a dandy of a chase scene through a gym and swimming pool and, before that, a bar scene with Carolyn Jones spicing it up and O'Brien starting to crack up after a second killing, the witness of his first killing. He takes his anger out on Akins and his partner.
O'Brien had a dream girl in pliable Marla English, but he dominated her to where she tells Agar she doesn't have to think when he's around, just feel. He wants the material, when he already has a good woman. He's infected with that dream.
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