Matt Brennan runs into Jo Holloway, the Red Cross girl he romanced in Europe when he was a flyer in World War II, when he is offered a job by jet manufacturer Leland Willis as a test pilot.... See full summary »
After years of pursuit, Assistant D.A. Martin Ferguson has a good case against Murder, Inc. boss Albert Mendoza. Mendoza is in jail and his lieutenant Joseph Rico is going to testify. But Rico falls to his death and Ferguson must work through the night going over everything to build the case anew.Written by
Ed Stephan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Everett Sloane, who plays the kingpin of the underworld in this movie, provided the voice of do-gooder Dick Tracy in the 1961 cartoon shorts based loosely on the Chester Gould comic strip. See more »
Near the middle of the film the two young women are talking with each other outside in front of a house. After their conversation one of them walks toward the street. As she walks almost out of the picture you can see the shadow of the camera move across her body. See more »
Bogart may be the star, but it's De Corsia who supplies the vitality. The opening sequence remains a riveting case study in wild-eyed fear, as Rico (de Corsia) sweats a bucket load even though he's safely behind police walls. He's got good reason to sweat. The real life character that Rico appears based on, Abe "Kid Twist" Reles, ended up dead in police custody, somehow falling from a fifth story window before testifying against Murder Inc. How convenient.
This may not be the Warner Bros. of the 1930's, but it's still fast, tough, and unsentimental. And when killer Digger lets out a yelp knowing his turn has come, I was chilled to the bone and without need of fancy special effects. If the first 15 minutes amounts to paranoia run amok, the last amounts to suspense in spades as a cold-eyed killer stalks an unsuspecting girl along crowded city streets.
What a great cast of character parts-- plug-ugly psycho Jack Lambert all wrapped up in ice and apparently loving it; Fatso Zero Mostel auditioning as an assassin but serving as a kick-me doorstop instead; and a menacing Bob Steele brandishing a revolver instead of his usual six-gun, along with such familiar yet unsung faces as police chief Roy Roberts and detective King Donovan who gets an unscheduled face wash and without a towel. District attorney Bogart's good too, blending in nicely instead of trying to hog the screen as major stars sometimes do.
No romantic clinches here, just a chilling tale about an ambitious guy with a bright idea that can't be advertised in the Yellow Pages. Things get pretty complicated trying to fit the flashbacks into the unfolding events, but it all comes together in the end. Can't say I was impressed, however, by the key that unlocks the puzzle. Seems pretty far-fetched and certainly wouldn't work in these days of colorized contacts. Nonetheless, this is a surprisingly tense and uncompromised look at touchy subject that's since become familiar, but still merits a look-see.
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