When he learns that a gangster has taken over his nightclub and murdered his partner, returning WW2 hero Joe Miracle steals the money from the club's safe and hides in a settlement home, while the mob is on his tail.
Police surround the apartment of apparent murderer Joe Adams, who refuses to surrender although escape appears impossible. During the siege, Joe reflects on the circumstances that led him to this situation.
Barbara Bel Geddes,
There is a certain lack of style here that represented two of the Director's seminal Film-Noirs, Gun Crazy (1949) and The Big Combo (1955). But there are some very Noir things that make this more interesting than a standard Studio Crime Drama. There is one scene that you would never find in the "regular stuff". An Italian Grandmother is given an extended, importantly motivational scene, and speaks in her Native Italian. It is translated by her Grandchild in English as the G-Men look on with admiration and respect.
Such a long and laborious Scene, the Studios would say, is too Ethnic and taxing for the White-Bread target audience. But it turns the main Character around and is touching and unique. You gotta love Film-Noir. Another gripping, gritty scene is the murder of a potential Witness in front of the aforementioned 10 year old child and she looks on yelling Papa, Papa, Papa. Another powerful and offbeat scene.
One could quibble and nitpick at some of the corny stuff such as the Leader of the Mob constantly referred to as "The Big Fellow", that's just silly, and the dated text opening, frequently used, that touts the exploits of the Feds as just a bunch of regular Joe's doing their duty for the good of us all.
But this is a street level investigation that seems real and the Locations and the Characters are mostly Film-Noir and this one has enough strength to put it in good standing among, if not the best of, the Genre.
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