Nasty and mean-spirited in the best way. Did you ever have one of those days, and you didn't think things could get any worse, but then they do, and then you wind up getting lynched by an entire town, crazed with revenge? It's like that. I'm telling you, some days it doesn't pay to get out of bed!
Damn, one of the darkest noirs ever! Even darker than Fritz Lang's Fury, its closest companion as it was based on the same incident. There isn't a single facet of postwar American society the film doesn't condemn. The underlying desperation, loneliness and spiritual and financial despair and thoroughly brought out in the open. And the mob mentality depicted in the final scenes is truly harrowing.
Wow. One of the darkest of the films noir. Like ACE IN THE HOLE and KISS ME DEADLY, this movie pretty much condemns the whole of American society: desperation, loneliness, opportunism, criminality, mob mentality, you name it, it's rot from top to bottom. In 1950! That this flick isn't better known, even among noir "connoisseurs," is hard to believe. Blistering.