Johnny Damico botches a murder case and is suspended from the force. In reality, he is put undercover to identify the mysterious boss of the NY waterfront who has murdered everyone in his way. Will Johnny be next in line?
Nick and his partner Al stage a payroll holdup. Al is shot and Nick kills a policeman. Nick hides out at a public pool, where he meets Peg Dobbs. They go back to her apartment and he forces her family to hide him from the police manhunt.
In San Francisco, two police inspectors are on the case when a rogue taxi driver, with the help of a rogue porter, manages to steal the suitcase of an antiques collector before running down a cop, whose dying gesture is to shoot the cabbie dead. The inspectors discover that a statuette in the suitcase contains heroin. Meanwhile, a psychopathic gangster, his malignant mentor and their dipsomaniac driver have the job of picking up the other heroin shipments, hidden in the luggage of unsuspecting travelers. All goes well until they attempt to retrieve the heroin stuffed in a Japanese doll. A little girl and her lovely young mother have the doll, but when the crooks take possession of it, they find that the heroin has mysteriously vanished.Written by
The movie features a scene in the old Steinhardt Aquarium in Golden Gate Park. The aquarium (also featured in The Lady from Shanghai (1947)) was built in 1923. It was torn down in 2003, and replaced with a new, modern aquarium. An outdoor scene in the park shows the old De Young Museum, which was torn down in 2008 and replaced with a new museum. See more »
When Dancer returns to the car after having the "mules" pointed out to him, he tells the wheel man to drive to "2090" Jackson, the Mark Hopkins and the Seaman's Club "in that order". Instead, the film shows the group driving to the Seaman's Club first, then 9020 Jackson and finally the Mark Hopkins. See more »
There were a number of things to like in this movie such as the camera-work, the strange characters and some unique dialog.
To me, the best of the lines were said by the "old" crook, "Julian," played by Robert Keith. To give you idea, "Julian" was writing a book on people's last words after his partner "Dancer" ( Eli Walllach) killed them!! Keith was really interesting to listen to, and did a great job on this role. Actually, Wallach was great, too, playing a clean-shaven whacked-out villain in this story. (Eli would grow a beard and become famous two years after this movie, playing the Mexican villain in "The Magnificent Seven.")
On the other side of the ledger, Warner Anderson (Lt. Ben Guthrie") is perfect for the ultra-straight-laced-looking cop. His partner, "Inspector Al Quine," was played by Emile Meyer. He should be a familiar face to you older folks as Meyer usually played a sadistic bad guy on his numerous TV roles and had a face you couldn't forget! It was odd seeing him as a low-key cop instead of some sadist.
Richard Jaekel as the driver of the two criminals also was different, and had good lines, too, I thought.....so I definitely enjoyed watching this cast.
I enjoyed the story. I wish more late 1950s film noir movies were made because they are a little different. The only surprise I had was that I expected a faster-paced film knowing it was a Don Siegel movie. But, it was still the '50s and not the days yet of "Dirty Harry" so the films will be slower, I suppose, even with an "action" director like Siegel. The story started off with a bang but then started slowing down, almost to standstill after 30-40 minutes but began picking up when Wallach entered the scene, and then got more intense as it went on. The ending is really wild with a couple of shocking scenes.
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