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Insurance agent Jesse Arno is posing as a sailor while on the trail of a gang of waterfront thieves, supposedly headed by Tip Banning. Arno is aware that a gang member has been murdered by Rhino, Banning's simple-minded right-hand man, but says nothing when he is questioned by the police, who are unaware of his real profession. Banning, knowing that Jesse knew who the killer was, admits him into the gang.Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Warner Baxter is one of my personal favourites. I grew up watching his Crime Doctor films on late night TV. Here, Baxter plays a waterfront derelict who survives by scrounging and stealing. He sells his goods to Banning (Regis Toomey), who owns a second hand shop on the docks. Baxter meets the simple but frightening Rhino (Mike Mazurki) shortly after stumbling upon a murdered sailor.
It is revealed that Baxter is not a derelict but a detective investigating theft from cargo ships. Baxter proves that a shipment of furs were tampered with. He believes he knows how the thefts were accomplished but he wants to infiltrate the gang and catch the crooks in the act. Sure enough, Toomey and Mazurki are gang members, but who is the brain behind the robberies?
Mary Beth Hughes is billed second but has little to do as one of Toomey's partners. Peggy Converse has a meaty role as the owner of a waterfront bar. She seems to be very bright and she's very aware of all of the waterfront activities. One of the neat little angles of the movie has Baxter pass information on to his partner via a organ grinder's monkey. The film is of the standard of Baxter's Crime Doctor films, pleasing but not spectacular.
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