An enjoyable, if dry and relatively restrained, look at an operation involving two U.S. Treasury agents trying to bring down a counterfeiting operation. Anthony Mann directs competently enough, the cast do alright, and it moves along briskly enough from start to finish, despite not having any major highlights.
A beautifully lit black and white noir documentary drama with a very straight edge cast of undercover cops and gangs of counterfeiters. Agreeably worth watching for the cinematography alone, as most of the world feels pretty dated. The narration style mixed with government power of sample analysis presents a strange science-fiction vibe in an otherwise world of suspicious criminals.
I liked best the moments when the material starts to wriggle loose of its official purpose of lionising the treasury department and Mann introduces some of his trademark brutality and nastiness, like at the climax when our hero struggles through his bullet wounds to put a lump of lead in the goon he has beef with. At that moment, it's not business, it's strictly personal.
'Hand-picked?' For 1947 it's poor viewing. The print is grainy and the documentary style is not sustained, dropping out early, but jackbooting back to acknowledge the dead a couple of minutes before the close. T-men, G-men, Z-men! What is it with these hyphenated, under-cover state-sanctioned law enforcers in trilbies, sacrificing themselves to save the Nation while unmentioned, the rich legitimately evade taxes?
Gripping use of locations which really conveys the seedy atmosphere of these big US cities at the time in a semi-documentary manner. Also outstanding camera angles and lighting, but for me the plot really dragged and the acting was somehow uncharismatic. And yes the voice-over is so dire it's quite funny.
This was a great movie, capturing the busy of how money can bring such an uproar. Loved the action with the two undercover men from Washington. I enjoyed the black & white films, even with no color there can be assumed of what the era was like. The idea of counterfeiting money played such as role in this time period with times of the war in history. I would recommend this to anyone who is into action or business.
"We shot scenes just as they came along. We shot under all conditions. Our night shots were made with almost no lights. It's natural and real, and that's what makes it dramatic. We did almost all our street scenes with masked cameras and in more cases than we expected passers-by never realized they were in the middle of a movie scene." John Alton, T-Men pressbook (The Crime Films of Anthony Mann by Max Alvarez)
Brilliantly shot by the great cinematographer John Alton and skillfully directed by Anthony Mann, one gets a real sense of the trials and tribulations of what it must have been to be like to be an undercover agent against crime. Although it features an unnecessary and sermonic voiceover narration throughout the proceedings and despite the overly one-sided depiction of monetary crimes, T-Men is a solid crime picture.
It settles down into being a fairly good 1940s crime film. The first third is comically over the top, though. You'll have to sit through the stern narration and dialog that tells us why O'Brien isn't married: "Did you ever spend 10 nights in a Turkish bath looking for a man?"
Ok noir, but Mann did better w/ Raw Deal. This one feels dated, which is odd bc Dassin's The Naked City also uses narration/voice overs and still feels fresh. Some of the characters are laughable, and most of the cast is wooden. O'Keefe is ok, but has done much better elsewhere, like Raw Deal. Cinematography is good for most part thanks to Alton. Really not much to recommend here. For noir completists only. 2.5 stars
This film was okay being i wasn't impressed. Yes, it's a united states film made in the 1940's and the acting was terrible. What could've been better was the cinematography in some respects. What was funny about this movie was the props and the scene staging. Very 40's esque but it wasn't used the best of its ability. If you want a good laugh or want to study old thrillers, go and watch this because it wasn't good...
Overall I thought the film was good, I thought it was a bit boring at first but then got better. I wasn't a fan of the voice overs but I did like that it gave the viewer some information that maybe the film itself would not have shown. I also liked the camera work, lighting, music, and acting in the film. The lighting helped set the mood of a scene and so did the music.
Hahaha. Watching this movie you'd never know 1/2 of the world's population is made of women. J. Edgar Hoover would have strongly approved of this script. Yes, great cinematography. Still, this is when the post-war gutting of women from Hollywood jobs to make way for returning soldiers began. Ex: From the 1920s until WWII, women made up 20% of film editors. After WWII, the figure dropped to 2% & remains there today.
This movie uses a lot of lighting to portray different movements on screen. A lot of shadows to show the depth of how big and small things are. The story is your typical counterfeit ring and agents trying to figure out the case. The movie used a lot of different sounds and songs to express the feeling of the movie. The movie has a narration style that gives you background info that movies today don't have.
This movie starts off HORRIBLY... and then it gets REALLY REALLY GOOD. Such a cool turnaround. The film goes from boring doc-style lecture to gritty drama excitement. Nice! The camerawork and the high level acting truly elevate this film. Those things along with the tight direction create great tension and a wonderful hard-boiled plot. Good stuff, especially considering this was a mid-1940's film. A real treat!