Jimmy idolizes bootlegger Matt, and when he refuses to implicate his friend, he is sent to reform school. He befriends Shorty, a boy with a heart condition, and escapes to let the world know about the brutal conditions.
After killing her treacherous step-father, a girl tries to escape the country with a young vagabond. She dresses as a boy, they hop freight trains, quarrel with a group of hobos, and steal ... See full summary »
William A. Wellman
Solid Karlson/Payne effort...plus the amazing Mary Murphy*
We begin with a scene under the opening credits where a man (John Payne) is being held at gunpoint by a man in a wheelchair and his cronies. What's going on? Turns out the one being held up is a former D.A. assistant, now a bouncer, hired to retrieve a missing ruby on a Caribbean island, where he knows his ex-girlfriend (Mary Murphy) is. When he gets there and sees her in a market, she runs away. He finds out that there is intrigue aplenty and his ex is possibly in it up to her neck. Can he trust her?
This was a decent one, the third of three teamings of John Payne with director Phil Karlson. (first was Kansas City Confidential, second was 99 River Street) It uses a lot of familiar elements from other noirs and does so mostly successfully. I found the story kinda bogged down here and there, but is generally solid. Some good action and surprises.
The other two movies I mentioned are better, especially the mighty K.C.C., but this is still worth a look, especially if you enjoy Payne as a tough guy.
As an aside, Mary Murphy sure can walk away!
*the lovely actress, not the incredibly annoying screeching woman on those dance shows!
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