Det. Sgt. Mark Dixon always wanted to be something his old man wasn't: a guy on the right side of the law. But for a good guy, he's awfully vicious. After several complaints over his roughing people up, his boss, Insp. Nicholas Foley, demotes him. Foley tells him he's a good man, but needs to get his head on straight and be more like Det. Lt. Thomas, who has just gotten a promotion. Meanwhile, Tommy Scalise has an illegal dice game going and is looking to make a sucker out of the rich Ted Morrison, who was brought in by Ken Paine and his beautiful wife Morgan. She figures out too late her husband is using her as a decoy. Paine strikes her when she refuses to play along. The chivalrous Morrison intervenes but Paine knocks him out cold. That seems to be the worst of it, but later it turns out the guy is dead; and Paine looks guilty. Soon Dixon has fallen in love with Morgan - but not before losing his temper again and committing a terrible deed that he tries to cover up. Morgan's father...Written by
This story was originally dramatized on radio in January 1949 for the series "Suspense", under the title "Night Cry", staring Ray Milland in the Dana Andrews role. See more »
Although Otto Preminger places and moves his camera with great skill in this film, his camera is set up on Dana Andrews right in-between him and suspect Craig Stevens. Stevens' first punch misses Andrews' chin by at least a foot. See more »
An excellent opening title sequence starts this gritty Noir off in perfect step with what will follow. The son of a thief who was killed while attempting to shoot himself out of jail, Mark Dixon became a cop in an attempt to atone for the sins of the father, but cannot quite escape the fathers blood surging through his veins every time he strikes out at a hood, and it's his excessive use of force that gets him demoted with the threat of losing his job as detective, the only thing he ever wanted out of life. When he accidentally kills a witness to a murder, panic takes hold of him and he proceeds to cover up the evidence, but fate has a way of meting out cruel justice. Mark will fall in love for his victim's ex, and then her innocent uncle through another freak accident ends up taking the rap for the murder when the body turns up. And now the real moment of truth - atone for his own sins and free an innocent man, but probably lose the girl, or say nothing, keep the girl, but end up being just like his father? A brilliantly executed noir by Preminger and Dana Andrews nails one of the best performances of his career as the tormented detective.
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