Nick Bianco is caught during a botched jewellery heist. The prosecution offer him a more lenient sentence if he squeals on his accomplices but he doesn't roll over on them. Three years into the sentence an event changes his mind.
Because aging boxer Bill Thompson always lost his past fights, his corrupt manager, without telling Thompson, takes bribes from a betting gangster, to ensure Thompson's pre-arranged dive-loss in the next match.
Homicide Capt. Finlay finds evidence that one or more of a group of demobilized soldiers is involved in the death of Joseph Samuels. In flashbacks, we see the night's events from different viewpoints as army Sgt. Keeley investigates on his own, trying to clear Mitchell, to whom circumstantial evidence points. Then the real, ugly motive for the killing begins to dawn on both Finlay and Keeley.Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
Based on Richard Brooks' first novel, "The Brick Foxhole" (1945), written while he was still a sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps. One of the many subplots of the novel dealt with homophobia, but that was changed to anti-Semitism and became the focus of the story for the film. The decision was made by producer Adrian Scott, who had purchased the rights to the novel, knowing any depiction of homosexuality would not get past the Production Code Administration. See more »
When Leroy bends down to pick up the address paper that Montgomery drops, the reverse angle of Montgomery shows the room ceiling above him. The "ceiling" appears to be fabric (badly) stretched over a frame because it has several large wrinkles in it. See more »
Look, Leroy, you know we have a law against carrying a gun?
Well, we have that law because a gun is dangerous. Well, hate - Monty's kind of hate - is like a gun. If you carry it around with you, it can go off and kill somebody.
See more »
Also available in a computer colorized version. See more »
SPOILERS Not only does this movie boasts three Roberts,but it also possesses all that makes a film noir great:a murky sticky atmosphere, a fine supporting cast , a lot of characters we remember even if they appear on the screen barely fifteen minutes(Gloria Grahame and her husband for instance).The first scene sets the tone:a murder ;we can only see the shadows on the wall.
Edward Dmytryk,whose career would dismally end (the likes of "Shalako") ,was here at the height of his powers:he films his story with a stunning virtuosity and there are unforgettable moments:the scene in the Jew's apartment seen thru the eyes of the drunken soldier;the way the director films brilliant Robert Ryan ,using dizzying high and low angle shots.He's arguably the stand-out and his performance is really spooky;the conversation during which you can only see Ryan's face in a mirror;all these stairs which seem to be death traps.
It seems that these soldiers can only survive in the dark:in the nightclubs,in Grahame's seedy apartment,in a movie theater.They are just about at breaking point,as if they had come from hell to wind up in another one.But one should notice that ,at least in the first half of the movie,their camaraderie,their solidarity remain intact:brothers in arms indeed;the police are the enemy.
Robert Young's cop is a thousand miles above your usual detective routine:the scenarists achieves the feat of including his own story (actually his grandfather)in this murder mystery.He really pleads for the right to difference:today the Jews,tomorrow the hillbillies from Tennessee ,then the guys with striped ties...His words have a contemporary feel:it's because they don't know the Jews,the fags (check the novel)that some people use them as scapegoats.
Robert Ryan's portrayal is one of the most frightening of all the film noir genre.It's interesting to compare his part with the one he plays in Robert Wise's "odds against tomorrow"(1959).In both movies ,his character is a racist or anti-Semite;in both movies no explanation.Ryan was known for his very liberal ideas,what a clever actor he was!
37 of 50 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this