Sunday, June 22, 2008


Samuel S. Hinds is elected mayor on a law-and-order platform, and when the DA is murdered, Lee Bowman, the head of Hinds' election campaign and a fiercely anti-crime radio host, is appointed special prosecutor to look into the case and continue to clean up the city. Bowman's buddy, Van Heflin, is head of the police forensics lab who is working on some evidence found at the murder scene, and Heflin and Bowman are both sweet on Heflin's assistant, Marsha Hunt. What Heflin and Hunt don't know is that Bowman is in league with the bad guys. A suspect is killed, but when the mayor expresses concerns about how much money Bowman is throwing around, a car bomb kills the mayor. A disgruntled restaurant owner (Eddie Quillan), who was seen hanging around the mayor's house to complain that he was still getting harassed by mobsters, is arrested and it's up to Heflin, Hunt, and the CSI technology (such as it was in the 40's) to clear Quillan and put the finger on Bowman. This is basically a run-of-the-mill B-detective film with a moderately interesting focus on crime scene science. There is a nice bantering chemistry between Heflin, Hunt, and Bowman, with Bowman in particular giving a good performance as a villain hiding behind a good guy's face. Also with John Litel as a bad guy and, according to IMDb, Ava Gardner as a car hop. I never figured out what the title meant. [TCM]

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