3.5 Here's an example of a powerful cast taking a trite, cliched script and making it into something worth watching. Kirk Douglas, Burt Lancaster and Lizabeth Scott are all fabulous here. And a little help from great character actor Mike Mazurki. All these people have made better films but I will take a crew like this anytime.
All of the characters are distinctive, and it’s interesting to watch everyone involved looking out for their own best interest. Although a few will eventually make a turnaround, the majority of the film is each person doing their best to maintain what is theirs. And that use of background music playing throughout every scene adds a certain unnerving quality to it all. A real sleeper of a noir.