Rip Murdock and Johnny Darke are en route to Washington when Johnny disappears and then turns up dead. Rip learns that Johnny had been accused of murder and sets out to find out what he can. He falls in love with Coral whose husband Johnny is supposed to have killed.Written by
Ed Stephan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Humphrey Bogart's performance in this film is what makes it rise above a 5 or 6. Columbia is obviously trying to replicate the elements of the types of films that Bogart did so well in the 1940's over at Warner Brothers. The oddest thing about this film is Bogart's dialogue, especially during his voice-overs. At times it comes on so strong as to approach a parody of Bogart as Bogart. If any other actor were speaking this dialogue it might evoke laughter if not confusion, yet Humphrey Bogart makes it work.
Here Bogart is paratrooper Rip Murdock, just recently home from the war with Sergeant Johnny Drake, who is to receive the Congressional medal of honor. However, when Drake disappears right before the ceremony, Murdock gets permission from his superiors to find out what happened to his usually reliable friend and fellow soldier. Murdock follows his buddy's trail to Gulf City, a bar and gambling joint there that is run by a mobster, the girl that stole Johnny's heart - young and beautiful - and wealthy - widow Dusty Chandler (Lizabeth Scott), and a trail of clues fraught with mystery and murder. It's rather obvious that Lizabeth Scott is Columbia's answer to Lauren Bacall in this one, and that gangster Martinelli and henchman Krauss are attempting to duplicate the types of roles played by Sydney Greenstreet and Peter Lorre in Bogart's successful Warner pictures. Although these three can't begin to match their Warner counterparts, and at times Scott painfully overacts, they do lend enough credible support to give Bogey a framework in which to play an interesting character in a rather intriguing mystery that has plenty of atmosphere.
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