|Genre: Crime, Film-Noir, Drama, Suspense, Murder, Detectives, Thieves, Psychos, Police, Investigation, Society, World War II|
Tagline: Sensational? No, it's dynamite!
Plot: This unusual and worthwhile black-and-white film noir was one of the first movies to deal with issues of anti-Semitism. A weary Washington detective (Robert Young) must get to the bottom of a seemingly motive-lacking murder, with the prime suspect a boozy soldier who can only vaguely recall the events of the night. The story really digs its heels into lots of postwar issues--how soldiers need a place to put all their violence once the war is over and the other problems of readjusting to civilian life. Robert Mitchum stars as a friend of the accused soldier who helps the detective solve the case.
Edward Dmytryk had already established himself as a fine noir director with MURDER, MY SWEET, made a few years earlier. Here he takes the shadowy, midnight world of desperate people and seedy dives and slyly turns it into a vehicle for the exploration of bigotry. The result is a quietly stunning, low-key classic. Young is especially good as the detective and gets ample help from Mitchum and Robert Ryan in this well-written, atmospheric drama.
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