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A vicious loan shark ring has been preying on factory workers. When several workers at a tire factory suffer violence at the hands of the loan sharkers, a union leader and the factory owner try to recruit ex-con Joe Gargan to infiltrate to the gang. At first Joe does not want to get involved, but changes his mind when his brother-in-law dies at the hands of a savage loan shark hood. Joe works his way into the mob, but in order to keep his cover, Joe can't tell anyone what he is up to. This results in him being disowned by his sister and girl friend.Written by
Jim Riecken <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Despite some odd casting, it works... and works very well.
It sure was odd seeing a 57 year-old George Raft playing essentially the same role he'd been playing almost twenty years earlier--especially since the stuntman they used for him looked much younger and a lot more fit! Also, having a 27 year age difference between him and his girlfriend also strained the limits of credibility. However, if you can ignore the oddness of the casting, then it's a very good example of Film Noir that is sure to please lovers of this genre.
Raft plays a man who has just gotten out of prison for assault. He genuinely wants to go straight, but unfortunately the job prospect he has wants him to do some undercover work to determine who's in charge of a local loan shark business. He turns the job down, but when his brother-in-law is soon killed by these thugs, he changes his mind and works his way up through the racket to find "Mr. Big".
An exciting script, very good acting and pacing make this a fine fine example of Film Noir. If you liked this film, try to see Alan Ladd in APPOINTMENT WITH DANGER. The plot is very similar, though the Ladd film is a good bit grittier and tougher.
By the way, although this is a good film, Raft's prospects in Hollywood were pretty bleak at this point in his career. Raft made a habit of turning down amazing roles and by the 1950s he was starring in mostly B-pictures. According to IMDb, he'd "turned down High Sierra (1941), The Maltese Falcon (1941), Casablanca (1942) and Double Indemnity (1944)"--yikes!
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