On trial for murdering his girlfriend, philandering stockbroker Larry Ballentine takes the stand to claim his innocence and describe the actual, but improbable sounding, sequence of events that led to her death.
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.
A telephone repairman in Los Angeles uses his knowledge of electronics to help a bookie set up a betting operation. When the bookie is murdered, the greedy technician takes over his business. He ruthlessly climbs his way to the top of the local crime syndicate, but then gangsters from a big East Coast mob show up wanting a piece of his action.Written by
A better than routine, if not exceptional, noir crime drama, with O'Brien excellent in the lead, and good casting throughout. Opening and closing textural comments convey the sense that this is more of a sensational expose of syndicate control of horse-race betting (a major West coast institution if there ever was one), produced "under threat". That remains to be seen. What is undeniable is that a well-paced tale of one man's ambition is engagingly portrayed. Of particular interest are the wonderful filming locations in the L.A. area -- rich streetscapes--full of marvelous period detail, "Modern" architecture as seen in circular drive-ins, open plan houses, groovy bars ands nightclubs, and some flavor of Palm Springs weekending. With the evolution of O'Brien's character from a telephone repairman into a major crime so well reflected in the improvements in his dress, along with the sartorial variety among the leads, one gets a nice sense of personal style in this period. Worth a look.
23 of 25 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this