A much more subtle film than it initially appears. At first it seems a standard noir which sets up a Manichean contrast between Bannion's domestic bliss and moral heroism versus the depravity and evil of the mob. As it progresses however, those lines become increasingly blurred and the film develops into a darker exploration of the individual's and society's capacity for evil, both active and complicit.
Sometimes the script tries so hard to be a wise guy it's hilarious, but thats part of the enjoyment, Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid etc. Lee Marvin is such a good baddie. It struck me that these must have been very cheap to make, the sets are very undemanding. Beautifully lit. Glenn Ford' sense of justice and purpose just doesn't waver, he just ploughs right through everyone until they just end up following him.
I am beginning to think that all noirs are the same: some murder mystery, some plot twists, a beautiful woman in trouble, a narrow story line with no grander meaning, and generally horrible music. It really doesn't matter who the director is: you can't make a good movie out of a boring premise.