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Fed up with the raising crime in Miami, the police chief and the leading members of the city council hire a former Miami gangster, gone straight, to help eliminate the biggest crime syndicate in the city.
Bank comptroller John Hewitt is a much-respected member of the community. One afternoon he is persuaded to make a small two-dollar bet at the racetrack and collects a couple of hundred dollars when his horse wins. Such a return-on-investment intrigues him and he begins to frequent the track and making larger bets. After a short period of winning, he hits a losing streak and his savings are soon wiped out. He then starts to take money from the bank and is soon thousands of stolen-dollars behind. Mary Slate, secretary of his bookmaker, advises him that the bookmaker has a sure thing, and if he will liberate $20,000 or so from the bank, he can get in on it and solve all his problems.Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
Watching a mediocre print of this movie was like seeing "Detour" for the first time. The movie has a terrible, pedestrian title. The stars don't promise much. Well, of course Marie Windsor is always good and Steve Brodie is a noir staple. But John Litel, as the central figure -- which he is? It's the very suspenseful story of a decent guy getting dragged down into a whirlpool of crime and deceit.
Litel is what today would be called a middle-manager. He has an OK job and works hard. He has two daughters in their late teens, whom he adores. He lavishes everything he can afford on them. And, it turns out, more than he can afford.
Urged to bet a horse to show at the races, he slowly gets bitten by the gambling bug. From small bets he moves on to a bookie. And who does the bookie send to collect his money but -- Marie Windsor.
Far be it from me to say exactly what role her character plays in the story. She looks great, as always. This is all I'm saying. But the Litel character is very likable. The money he wants to win is truly only to continue pampering his daughters. And seeing his decline is painful. (And its shocking.)
Though the film seems to have been made on a very low budget, its plot and character development are nuanced. I'm eager to see it again.
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