A New York City detective, traveling by train between New York and Baltimore, tries to foil an on-board plot to assassinate President-elect Abraham Lincoln before he reaches Baltimore to give a major pre-Inauguration speech in 1861.
Joe Sullivan is itching to get out of prison. He's taken the rap for Rick, who owes him $50,000. Rick sets up an escape for Joe, knowing that Joe will be caught escaping and be shot or locked away forever. But with the help of his love-struck girl Pat and his sympathetic legal caseworker Ann, Joe gets further than he's supposed to, and we are posed with two very important questions: Is Joe really the cold and heartless criminal he appears to be, or is there a heart of gold under that gritty exterior? And does Joe belong with the tough, street-wise Pat, or with the prim, moralizing Ann?Written by
Martin Lewison <email@example.com>
The $50,000 Joe wants from Rick would equal about $500,000 in 2016. See more »
The on-screen end credits list Claire Trevor's character as "Pat Regan." However, she is referred to as "Pat Cameron" by other characters including the prison guard at the beginning of the film and by both Spider and Rick Coyle near the end. See more »
This Noir Has Something No Other Movie Has Ever Had:
Claire Trevor providing voice-over narration to the accompaniment of a Theramin! What an indelible effect this makes! In a way, it is not the usual sort of narration we find in film noir: Trevor is usually shown as her voice, with that spooky electronic instrument providing harmony, come through on the soundtrack. The standard for this was to have the protagonist (almost always a male) do this but without appearing as he spoke.
Trevor not only appears but indeed appears in a hat with a veil covering her face. This will stick in your memory for years after you've seen it! Trevor helps boyfriend Dennis O'Keefe break out of prison. But a good girl, Marsha Hunt, has also visited and shown interest in them. Which one will he chose: bad but loyal Trevor or goody-goody Hunt? These are both excellent actresses. Marsha Hunt underplays a little bit here. But she is superb.
The movie has a very solid, if somewhat standard plot. But all kinds of things are tossed into the mix -- all to the movie's benefit.
For example, when O'Keefe has settled into his first hide-out, a wife-murderer appears and demands to be given shelter. He's there for a few minutes of screen time but after that his story is dropped.
John Alton's cinematography is superb. Anthony Mann directed this Eagle Lion feature with expert hands. Some of the characters may be losers but the movie is a true winner.
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