Nick Bianco is caught during a botched jewellery heist. The prosecution offer him a more lenient sentence if he squeals on his accomplices but he doesn't roll over on them. Three years into the sentence an event changes his mind.
Hit man Philip Raven, who's kind to children and cats, kills a blackmailer and is paid off by traitor Willard Gates in "hot" money. Meanwhile, pert entertainer Ellen Graham, girlfriend of police Lieut. Crane (who's after Raven) is enlisted by a Senate committee to help investigate Gates. Raven, seeking Gates for revenge, meets Ellen on the train; their relationship gradually evolves from that of killer and potential victim to an uneasy alliance against a common enemy.Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This is definitely an enjoyable film to watch. It starts out like gangbusters with great film noir qualities having the trajectory of a bona fide classic. Alan Ladd is superb as the cold-blooded killing man for hire and Laird Cregor - who unfortunately was to die at 30 only two years after this film - is equally superb in his role. The film misses the mark, however, when the patriotic aspects of World War II (then a current event) are used in the end to appeal to the conscious of the cold-blooded killing Ladd. For a character of Ladd's ilk to be won over on such a near-corny patriotic appeal is a bit of a stretch, and takes away from the true grit realism of the movie's potential. Sort of reminds me of all the romance and self-righteousness that frequently is the focus of movies or intellectual discussions of the U. S. Civil War, rather than simply telling the true plain cold-blooded reasons for its initiation and declaration, regardless of how evil, and immoral the facts. But alas, Hollywood is about entertainment, not necessarily realism. And, we can't forget the near-mandatory Studio happy-ending requirements.
On a lighter note, those with an ear for a good tune with their flicks will enjoy two Frank Loesser compositions in the film, particularly "Now you see it, Now you don't," where Veronica Lake does an excellent job lip-synching Martha Mears' vocal.
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