A police lt. is ordered to stop investigating deadly crime boss Mr. Brown, because he hasn't been able to get any hard evidence against him. He then goes after Brown's girlfriend who despises him, for information instead.
A private eye escapes his past to run a gas station in a small town, but his past catches up with him. Now he must return to the big city world of danger, corruption, double crosses and duplicitous dames.
In flashback, New York nightclub pianist Al Roberts hitchhikes to Hollywood to join his girl Sue. On a rainy night, the sleazy gambler he's riding with mysteriously dies; afraid of the police, Roberts takes the man's identity. But thanks to a blackmailing dame, Roberts' every move plunges him deeper into trouble...Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The budget PRC gave director Edgar G. Ulmer for this film was so small that the 1941 Lincoln Continental V-12 convertible driven by Charles Haskell was actually Ulmer's personal car. See more »
In the first shots of Al hitchhiking, the film is reversed. The cars are driving on the wrong side of the highway and the drivers sitting behind the wheel are sitting on the right side of their vehicles. See more »
That's life. Whichever way you turn, Fate sticks out a foot to trip you.
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You can quibble about details, but it's hard to deny that this is a classic in its genre. Al Roberts (Tom Neal) makes a series of bad choices that bring him low. They're the choices of a not particularly bright young man under increasing pressure. Vera (Ann Savage) is the quintessential Bad Girl. Their repartee, indeed much of the dialogue throughout, is a big part of the attraction of this film. The plot, presented in flashback, barrels on relentlessly to its conclusion. The characterizations, dialogue, plot, photography--all contribute to make this taut, gritty film a must for film noir enthusiasts. My only real disappointment is with the rather abrupt end. On the whole, though, great fun.
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