A classic twisted story from one of America's greatest film makers, Tod Browning, starring his greatest leading man, Lon Chaney in a masterful performance of physical theater. (An interesting note...this has the earliest use I have seen of the term "nark" to describe a police informant).
Browning's crime melodrama is unfortunately not one of his better collaborations with Chaney. Chaney is great, as usual, and the film creates some nice atmosphere and colorful characters - but the story is just too tedious, slow-paced, and stagey. There are a few effective, vintage-Browning scenes - particularly the ironic ending - but this effort lacks the lurid appeal of some of his other masterpieces.