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.
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.
Lawyer Joe Morse wants to consolidate all the small-time numbers racket operators into one big powerful operation. But his elder brother Leo is one of these small-time operators who wants to stay that way, preferring not to deal with the gangsters who dominate the big-time.Written by
John Oswalt <email@example.com>
When Joe reads the newspaper at the beginning of the film about the prosecutor cracking down on the numbers racket, the second paragraph of the story is about another topic entirely. See more »
[opening lines - voice over]
This is Wall Street... and today was important because tomorrow - July Fourth - I intended to make my first million dollars. An exciting day in any man's life. Temporarily, the enterprise was slightly illegal. You see I was the lawyer for the numbers racket.
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All existing copies of the film are of the version that was cut by 10 minutes in order to fit into a double bill. See more »
A movie that portrays the tragedy of "victimless" crime.
This movie is about the "numbers" racket that existed at the time the movie was made. Younger viewers, familiar with state lotteries may not appreciate the pervasive influence that was required to operate a nickel and dime play of individuals, that translated into millions that went to corrupt local politicians, judges, and police. One reviewer said the crime was petty which is true; but that makes the cost to the characters involved so tragic and cinematcally vivid. John Garfield acting is at its best as he portrays a person trying to balance ambition, romance and family loyalty. The minor characters are all nice people who found themselves caught in a dirty business that seemed harmless to everyone who played the numbers. This movie shows the real cost in personal terms. The writing, acting and direction of this movie excels any crime movie of this generation.
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