An electrifying variation on the theme of a hoodlum (Conte) and a cop (Mature) who knew one another as kids, it opens with the former seriously wounded in hospital but determined to escape the police watching over him; he needs to clear the name of his fiancée, who’s suspected of a jewel robbery. While Conte, all insolent, menacing charm, is especially magnificent, and Mature invests the detective’s pursuit with unsettling hints of obsession, the movie fields a glorious gallery of shady figures, from a lawyer oozing corruption to a memorably sadistic masseuse. The steely realism is enhanced by flourishes of noir stylisation. A classic awaiting rediscovery.
Certificate: 12A Crime | Drama | Film Noir
Dir. Robert Siodmak, US, 1948, 95 mins
Cast: Richard Conte, Victor Mature, Shelley Winters