After two gang-related killings in "Center City," a suspect (who was framed) is arrested, released on bail...and murdered. Inspector Briggs of the FBI recruits a young agent, Gene Cordell, to go undercover in the shadowy Skid Row area (alias George Manly) as a potential victim of the same racket. Soon, Gene meets Alec Stiles, neurotic mastermind who's "building an organization along scientific lines." Stiles recruits Cordell, whose job becomes a lot more dangerous...Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
The famous scene in Goodfellas where Robert DeNiro chews out one of his men for lavishly spending money on a fur coat for his woman., right after a big robbery, happens in this movie with Richard Widmark lecturing, and threatening, his henchman. See more »
The wall behind Ed Begley during the Danker interrogation changes from brightly lit to sharply defined shadows of prison bars and back to brightly lit again. See more »
Music by Harry Akst
Played on the arcade piano
Also played at the saloon See more »
Street with No Name, The (1948)
*** (out of 4)
A couple gangland killings prompt the FBI to sent agent Gene Cordell (Mark Stevens) into a mob being ran by the hot-tempered Alec Stiles (Richard Widmark). The two strike up a good working relationship but soon informants tip off Stiles and Cordell must try and find a way out before getting killed. This crime/thriller has a lot in common with THE HOUSE ON 92ND STREET, although a lot of issues in that film are corrected here. Thankfully all the introductions and most of the narration is cut out in this film as the screenwriters obviously thought viewers would be smart enough to follow the story without having to have someone tell us what's going on every few minutes. By not having the narration we're greeting with some fine performances as both Stevens and Widmark really nail their characters. Stevens comes off very good as the undercover agent as he perfectly fits the role and comes across smart enough to be able to do everything we see here. It should come as no shock that Widmark steals the film as the snake gangster. There's a scene where he beats up his girlfriend that is so perfectly shot and acted that it really does seem like Widmark is getting a kick out of doing it. He has that certain toughness and coolness that makes his character very cold and he does all of this without a single problem. Ed Begley has a supporting role and does great work with it and we get strong performances by Lloyd Nolan, Donald Buka and Barbara Lawrence. This film has been labeled a "film-noir" but I really didn't see it as this has a lot more in common with the gangster films being released by Warner a decade earlier rather than any of the mysteries or dramas coming from various other studios around this time. The use of shadows will certainly remind folks of noir but that's pretty much it. As a crime film, this here works extremely well because we've got a hero we can care for and a villain that we love to hate. The actual story being told certainly isn't anything too original but it's entertaining enough to work and keep the viewer captivated from start to finish. Keighley's direction is top-notch throughout and he has no problem building up a nice atmosphere that hangs thickly over the film. Fans of Scorsese will also notice a few touches in both GOODFELLAS and THE DEPARTED.
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