Because aging boxer Bill Thompson always lost his past fights, his corrupt manager, without telling Thompson, takes bribes from a betting gangster, to ensure Thompson's pre-arranged dive-loss in the next match.
Dave Burke is looking to hire two men to assist him in a bank raid: Earle Slater, a white ex-convict, and Johnny Ingram, a black gambler. Both are reluctant; but Burke arranges for Ingram's creditors to put pressure on him, while Slater feels humiliated by his failure to provide for his girlfriend; they eventually accept. But Slater loathes and despises blacks, and the tensions in the gang rapidly mount.Written by
David Levene <D.S.Levene@durham.ac.uk>
French director Jean-Pierre Melville confessed that he owned a 35mm copy of this film and watched it more than eighty times. See more »
As Robert Ryan first drives the souped up Chevy wagon, we hear him grind the gears. Later, as we watch the speedometer climb to 100 MPH, we see the left side of the Powerglide shift quadrant on the steering column. Automatic transmissions don't make gear grinding noises. See more »
Good low budget heist film. Ryan's character is one of the ugliest portrayals of a white racist in film. Belafonte's character is one of the most multi-faceted and complex potrayals of an African American up until that time, and the performance doesn't date at all. Wise keeps the pacing taut and the suspense high. There's great black and white location shooting in New York City and upstate in Hudson, New York. Other things of interest: it's written by black-listed Abraham Polonsky under a pseudonym (check out his great "Force of Evil"); Cicely Tyson appears in a bit part; Richard Bright portrays a pretty overt homosexual for the time; early use of a zoom lens and infrared photography; edited by Dede Allen; some interiors shot at the old Gold Medal Studios in the Bronx.
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