So it's a tale of redemption, then?


 

It's Gene Kelly's nasty brother:

 

 

Not really; it's Lawrence Tierney, notorious tough guy. Off-screen, he was worse. A total drunk - he once said he'd thrown away about seven careers on drink - he cut a wide brawling swath through Hollywood. Imdb notes that he played Elaine's dad on an episode of Seinfeld, but scared the cast so deeply they never had him back on.

In this movie he's a no-good crook, but even no good crooks have moms who can plead with the parole board:

 

 

Here's who she's trying to impress:

 

 

Against the warden's wishes, the Hoodlum is granted parole, but before he goes, the warden wants to show him something:

 

 

It's old Sparky, kid, and it's waiting for you if you mess up. Well, of course he does; right back to a life of crime, ruining the lives of everyone around him. Is it noir? It has men in hats and venetian-blind shadows, although heaven knows where the light sources is on these:

 

 

You keep hoping it will end up back in the electric-chair room, because that's what he truly deserves. It does not. It ends in a junkyard. I'm not saying the print is murky and originally underlit, and thus it's hard to see what happens at the end, but here's the final shot:

 

Somewhere in there, you'll find two cops and a dead body. Me, I was just glad it was over. Tierney's no fun to watch. Unless he's doing Star Trek: the Next Generation. Or even Deep Space Nine.