Brian Foy, you say? Well, count us in:


After a string of duds, this gave me new faith in the 100 Mysteries project. I’ve never heard of this one. It’s not the plot that makes it good, but here it is: brilliant criminal gets paroled, pulls a heist - knocks over a casino, angering a mobster. Flees to another city where his square-john brother gives him a job. This town just happens to have a psychologist who’s a dead-ringer for the crook, and when the heat comes down you know how that will turn out. Could be role stuff. But it’s shot so very well. As with good noir, it’s all about the cinematography by John Alton. Most of the movie seems to take place in a pitch-black world illuminated by a few bright lights; there’s low angles, deep-focus shots.

 

 

 

That’s a fight on the Angels Flight tram. Nearly every shot is well-composed; it's a catalogue of inventive composition.

There’s a cameo from Pee-Wee Herman’s father:

 

And there’s a dame, of course. Joan Bennett. Women of the Forties seemed so much more grown-up.

 

 

There’s the hired gun who has no remorse:

 

Brutish looking chap, no? Luckily for us he'd join the other side of the law soon enough. This was Jack Webb's first movie. He didn't get a credit.

Bonus! Is there a Star Trek connection? There is: the score is by Sol Kaplan, one of the two fellows who wrote most of the background music for the original series.

You can download it - legally! - right here.