An altruistic department-store owner hires ex-convicts in order to give them a second chance at life. Unfortunately, one of the convicts he hires recruits two of his fellow ex-convicts in a plan to rob the store.
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Mr. Morris, the owner of a large metropolitan department store, gives jobs to paroled ex-convicts in an effort to help them reform and go straight. Among his 'employed-prison-graduates' are Helen Roberts and Joe Dennis, working as sales clerks. Joe is in love with Helen and asks her to marry him, but she is forbidden to marry as she is still on parole, but she says yes and they are married. In spite of their poverty-level life, their marriage is a happy one until Joe discovers she has lied about her past, in order to marry him. Disillusioned, he leaves, goes back to his old gang and plans to rob the department store.Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
Funny. Last Christmas I was on the inside lookin' out and thinkin' I'd go bats if I couldn't get outside. And now I'm out... I don't know. Come to think of it, it was kinda cozy in that little cell.
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This is different, I'll say that. It's billed as a film noir but it's really a melodrama.
It's a romance story involving the characters played by George Raft and Sylvia Sidney. This was my first look at Sidney and she wasn't all that appealing to me. Since then I have seen her many times in films spanning a number of decades, on film or in guest appearances on television shows. Although hardly a beauty, she always was interesting. So was George Raft, who played a very low-key role in this movie. He was best playing a tougher gangster.
A man who received no billing in this movie but was really the third star was Warren Hymer, who played a dumb crook. There were also two musical numbers in this movie, one of them delivered in strange prose by the criminals.
As I said, this was kind of a strange piece of entertainment. Director Fritz Lang wanted to make a statement about crime not paying but he wanted to tell it in a different format. Well, I can appreciate that but I think he could have done that in a more entertaining way because the middle of this film dragged way too much and might have lost a lot of viewers. The ending was inventive but a little corny, too.
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