Jazzy crime drama strains a bit to be a hip, modern noir...great to look at, anyway
Lionel White's novel becomes an adequate time-filler from rote director Burt Kennedy. Big city cop Glenn Ford, anxious to hold on to luscious wife Elke Sommer, turns to crime; his partner of six years, Ricardo Montalban, wants in on the action. Familiar swindling and safe-cracking yarn goosed by Hal Schaefer's beatnik music, Paul Vogel's gorgeously bleak black-and-white cinematography, and interesting performances from an agreeable cast. Glenn Ford doesn't try hard to flesh out this complicated character, yet his smaller moments (like stroking Sommer's forearm in bed) go a long way to making a connection with the audience; Rita Hayworth (despite a corny send-off) is excellent as an alcoholic, and Montalban simmers with cat-like heat and paranoia. The dialogue is amusingly gritty ("I'm worried!" ... "Then worry with your mouth shut!") and the locales are vividly captured, however the M-G-M studio streets and back alleys look as phony as ever. **1/2 from ****
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