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Typical film noir style narration gives an instant cliché to the proceedings of this waterfront story of organized crime infiltration to the ports of New Orleans, the second largest in the United States. Illegal trafficking of stolen goods is being disguised through seemingly honest dealings, and the results have devastating effects for the honest Arthur Franz who must console the widow of a friend who is murdered as a part of a gangland strike and deal with a trampy gangster's moll who uses him to get information. Beverly Garland and Helene Stanton, the two women in the film, resemble each other so much with the bleached-blonde hair, but one is obviously good, the other totally bad. This leads to confusion as to who is who in Franz's life every time each one of them is seen with him, as the two women never inter-cross.
There's plenty of violence on this waterfront, Franz getting himself deeper into trouble by interfering in the daily goings on as he begins to realize what's happening. When he finally does get involved in exposing this racket, the results are predictable, with his life at stake as the mob gets a hint as to what he's really up to. This really doesn't take you much into New Orleans' famous nightlife down on Bourbon Street, simply a waterfront story that could be told about any port city. Considering the historical hurricane that New Orleans survived, the opening and closing air shots of the city are rather frightening, knowing that 50 years later, much of what is seen here would end up under water.
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