Jerry, not a member of the 'protest generation' but is instead, an 'All American boy,' is drafted into the Army, just as things begin to go well for him. His decision to flee to Canada ... See full summary »
Mae Doyle comes back to her hometown a cynical woman. Her brother Joe fears that his love, fish cannery worker Peggy, may wind up like Mae. Mae marries Jerry and has a baby; she is happy but restless, drawn to Jerry's friend Earl.
Jim 'Socker' Conway, former boxer and FBI hero, is maneuvered for political reasons into a do-nothing job in the district attorney's office. Meanwhile, he meets wild debutante Letty Lane, ... See full summary »
The Secret Service of the US Treasury learns that a new batch of counterfeit bills has been in circulation using the plates that Tris Stewart, having completed three years of a ten year prison sentence, had used that led to his conviction. They are able to make a deal with Stewart, in consideration for early parole, to stage a "mock" escape so that he can help them locate the source of the counterfeit bills and hopefully recover the plates to shut down this counterfeit operation for good. In discovering that the plates had been sold by Stewart's deadbeat former partner Sam Hooker to one of their old associates, Jack Sylvester, Stewart may have other things on his mind, such as reconnecting with his old girlfriend, Meg Dixon, a nightclub cigarette girl who now goes by the professional name Laurie Fredericks, and together living off the proceeds that those plates and resulting counterfeit bills can provide. What happens with Stewart and Laurie will not only be affected by Sylvester and ...Written by
When Sylvester is hiding from the cops in a trolley car and accidentally steps on a button that rings the bell, the cameras speed up and the cops rush off as if they're in a Keystone Cops comedy, blowing all verité. See more »
Ordinarily you'd expect Lloyd Bridges to be tracking down perennial villain John Hoyt. But here the usual roles are reversed-- Hoyt's the government agent and Bridges the small time hood. The movie itself is pretty typical of the docu-dramas of the period. It's the Treasury Department's turn to get the Hollywood treatment with the usual glowing introduction and stentorian narration. Though, like the stellar docu-drama T-Men (1947), the docu part soon gives way to big city noir. However, this film lacks importantly the former's grotesque air of nerve-wracking suspense.
Director Fleischer and the writers manage a couple of nice twists, particularly at the beginning. Nonetheless, the script makes a basic error in switching the action from Stewart (Bridges) to Sylvester (James Todd) in the climactic part. (Was Bridges taken ill or otherwise made unavailable.) Unfortunately, Todd simply lacks the screen presence to intimidate an audience or make us loathe him, whereas Bridges can snarl and menace with the best of them. Thus the last third fails to generate the kind of mounting dread required of an A-grade suspenser. Then too, Hoyt's basically cold demeanor and cruel looks don't arouse much natural sympathy that would encourage you to identify with him. Thus, the suspense is further weakened by what should be an emotional interest in the treasury agent's fate. The casting here really is a departure from the expected and to the movie's detriment.
Note how the culminating shootout takes place at an industrial site-- the overnight barn for LA's late, lamented trolley system, where we get a look at what could have eased LA's horrendous traffic problem. Actually, industrial sites crop up in the climax of a number of crime dramas of the period-- White Heat (1949), 7-11 Ocean Drive (1950), Union Station (1950), et al. I guess producers of the time figured running around big machines and shooting at each other would make for colorful audience excitement. Of course, the movie's also notable for the presence of notorious Hollywood bad-girl Barbara Payton, who was involved in several tawdry Hollywood scrapes and apparently ended her brief life as something of a cut-rate call girl ("Hollywood Babylon"). Whatever the direction of her private life, she's quite good here as Bridges' shapely blonde moll.
Anyway, for its type, the movie's average at best.
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