An insurance lawyer unhappy with his rate of company advancement becomes a middleman in deals to recover stolen property from the Mob, thus earning a nice living. But his actions attract police attention and set him up for a double-cross.
A World War II veteran, suffering from amnesia but otherwise healthy, is released from a veteran's hospital, decides to return to Los Angeles to see if he can regain his identity. Trying to retrace his former steps he soon learns that he was a double-crossing gangster, and many people have reasons to wish he wasn't around...and some try to see to it that he isn't around very long...alive, at least.Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The plot for "The Crooked Way" is far-fetched but that isn't a problem if the film is well made. It begins with a soldier (John Payne) talking with his doctor. It seems he was gravely injured during the war and took some shrapnel to his skull. He will live and the doctors have done all they can--but Eddie (John Payne) has no memory before the injury. And so, he sets out for what he thinks might be his old home in order to learn who he was. The trouble is, he might not like who he was AND there are some folks there who might just beat his brains in or worse!
This film represented a big departure for John Payne, as up until this film, he was mostly known as a pretty guy--nice and safe. Here, however, he's a man out to destroy...or be destroyed. Because of this movie, he'd soon go on to make other excellent noir films such as "99 River Street" and "Kansas City Confidential".
As far as the quality of the plot goes, it's generally very good--though you do wonder why the now nice guy Payne's character has become is so pig-headed and intent on nearly getting himself killed. But, with a great (and very tough) plot and characters, and especially a very strong ending, it's well worth your time.
By the way, look for Rhys Williams as the police lieutenant. There's no trace at all of his native Welsh accent here! Nice job, Rhys!
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