Joe Sullivan is itching to get out of prison. He's taken the rap for Rick, who owes him $50,000. Rick sets up an escape for Joe, knowing that Joe will be caught escaping and be shot or locked away forever. But with the help of his love-struck girl Pat and his sympathetic legal caseworker Ann, Joe gets further than he's supposed to, and we are posed with two very important questions: Is Joe really the cold and heartless criminal he appears to be, or is there a heart of gold under that gritty exterior? And does Joe belong with the tough, street-wise Pat, or with the prim, moralizing Ann?Written by
Martin Lewison <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Jane Randolph was wanted for the role of Pat Cameron. However, she turned it down, as she was upset at being uncredited in Anthony Mann's previous picture, T-Men. Claire Trevor was eventually cast. See more »
Although Joe Sullivan escaped from the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla, Washington, the police radio announcements at Ann Martin's residence mentioned several places near Cañon City, Colorado, over a thousand miles distant, where the Colorado state prison is, e.g. "going east on US 50 towards Pueblo," "Lincoln Park and cutoff to Salida," "state route to Florence covered, Cripple Creek Junction covered." Perhaps the plot's setting was rewritten. See more »
[holding Joe in her arms as he lies mortally wounded]
Hey. Hey, none of that. Don't cry. I got my breath of fresh air.
See more »
This Noir Has Something No Other Movie Has Ever Had:
Claire Trevor providing voice-over narration to the accompaniment of a Theramin! What an indelible effect this makes! In a way, it is not the usual sort of narration we find in film noir: Trevor is usually shown as her voice, with that spooky electronic instrument providing harmony, come through on the soundtrack. The standard for this was to have the protagonist (almost always a male) do this but without appearing as he spoke.
Trevor not only appears but indeed appears in a hat with a veil covering her face. This will stick in your memory for years after you've seen it! Trevor helps boyfriend Dennis O'Keefe break out of prison. But a good girl, Marsha Hunt, has also visited and shown interest in them. Which one will he chose: bad but loyal Trevor or goody-goody Hunt? These are both excellent actresses. Marsha Hunt underplays a little bit here. But she is superb.
The movie has a very solid, if somewhat standard plot. But all kinds of things are tossed into the mix -- all to the movie's benefit.
For example, when O'Keefe has settled into his first hide-out, a wife-murderer appears and demands to be given shelter. He's there for a few minutes of screen time but after that his story is dropped.
John Alton's cinematography is superb. Anthony Mann directed this Eagle Lion feature with expert hands. Some of the characters may be losers but the movie is a true winner.
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