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.
Mike Reese, yellow journalist and antihero, prints a story that leads to a gang killing, and is blacklisted from the city papers under suspicion of ties with racketeer Carl Durham. So, with a shrug, he makes the suspicion come true, then elbows his way into the editorship of the local paper in a small town where, opportunely, a sensational murder case threatens to destroy the family of newspaper magnate E.J. Stanton. When a black servant is made the patsy for this killing, Reese helps himself by helping her...but proves a dangerous ally.Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
Dan Duryea is one of the best actors out there, able to play the slimiest slime-ball and the staunchest of heroes. Here he does a little of both and you're never sure which side he's on. The movie starts as a Noir Crime Thriller, then becomes a 30's-style social drama, then switches back to noir and crime -- but it never loses its style, its verve and its pace. Constantly fun and involving, due to Duryea's movable morals -- and to Stanley Cortez's gorgeous black-and-white cinematography. Director/Writer Endfield does a fine job keeping things going, setting up interesting shots and corralling a cast that's great down to every tiny part. Bad Guy Howard Da Silva chews the scenery with relaxed gusto and is a joy to watch. Highly recommended.
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