Montreal: the former well-known gangster Joey Victor is fetched from Europe, where he was deported to from USA. His shall kidnap the nuclear physicist Dr. Macklin and bring him behind the Iron Curtain. Joey reactivates his old gang, including the formerly attractive Joyce. She shall seduce the erotically inexperienced Macklin and lure him out of his closely protected quarters. But the FBI becomes suspicious... Written by
Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>
As the sedan carrying Nick and Morrie prepares to pass the telephone repair truck that the police are using for undercover purposes, the camera and several members of the crew are visibly reflected in the door of the truck. See more »
This lesser and curiously-titled noir re-unites two stars (who had previously been teamed in Raoul Walsh's MANPOWER ) from the gangster heyday Edward G. Robinson and George Raft. Robinson, by now, was alternating between good-guy/authoritative roles and villainous types so it was Raft who got saddled with the obsolete hoodlum figure (albeit a mere cog in the wheel in the plot to kidnap a nuclear scientist, with Peter van Eyck as the true ring-leader).
While I thoroughly enjoyed ILLEGAL (1955), also with Robinson and by director Allen and which actually preceded this viewing, I was less enthused with this one: tolerable in itself but not especially interesting as drama (though, again, it was concocted by two noir specialists OUT OF THE PAST 's Geoffrey Homes, a pseudonym for Daniel Mainwaring, and A.I. Bezzerides who, soon after, would contribute the far more significant KISS ME DEADLY ); still, the hard-boiled dialogue (especially as delivered by the cynical Raft) is one of the main sources of entertainment throughout the film.
For most of the duration, though, Robinson takes a back seat to the criminals' activities whose scheme is handled in a needlessly convoluted way that involves a couple of seductions (of the scientist by Raft's moll Audrey Totter, herself a noir staple, and of his prim female assistant by one of the gangster's lackeys) and, of course, leaves a trail of murder behind it! A couple of twists late in the game see Totter really falling for the naïve scientist and Raft persuaded by Robinson into doing his patriotic duty and turning against van Eyck (atypically, the climax takes place aboard ship).
For the record, I've six more Robinson films in my "To Watch" pile three vintage titles (the compendium TALES OF MANHATTAN , the sentimental family saga OUR VINES HAVE TENDER GRAPES , and the noir-ish melodrama THE RED HOUSE ) and three minor outings, all of which happen to be capers, from his twilight period (OPERATION ST. PETER'S  THE BIGGEST BUNDLE OF THEM ALL , and IT'S YOUR MOVE ).
4 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?