Nice photography, but the characters are one-dimensional in this action/plot driven precursor to Dragnet. Maybe entertaining to those fans, it even has Jack Webb in it. And the names were changed "to protect the innocent." While the cops are hunting the killer, I'm wishing he would murder the narrator.
The film starts like the Fox production directed by William Keighley THE STREET WITH NO NAME, like a docu-drama. Then 60 minutes of so-so police procedures before the superb last 15 minutes in the sewers. Recommended.
"The work of a police, like that of a woman, is never done." Baseheart is on fire here. Nice cinematography. Best moments include the "experiment" to piece together the killer's face and the sewer scenes, esp. those gas masks. Creepy! The dog's tip off reminded me of the bird in Le Samouraï. 3.5 stars.
Chillingly pessimistic film noir. Richard Basehart's cop killing villain is terrifying and clearly influenced the murderers at the center of the Terminator and No Country For Old Men. Coincidentally, all three of these films include a scene of self-surgery to treat bullet wounds.
This is a masterful and incredibly underrated B-noir and it ought to be essential viewing since it basically invented the American police procedural. The cinematography by John Alton is so captivating and some of the best I've seen in a Hollywood film. Maybe I'm just a sucker for the semidocumentary noir, but I still think this film is tragically underrated.
Un excellent et percutant film noir américain qui cumule au superlatif, deux qualités essentielles et nécessaires pour ce genre de production : une vision quasi documentaire du milieu de la police dans l'environnement d'une enquête judiciaire et une interprétation remarquable des principaux acteurs, en particulier celle de Richard Basehart, dans un rôle difficile. www.cinefiches.com