Friday, June 14, 2024


This film opens with a dedication to those who manage to escape their "Hell’s kitchen" neighborhoods. Harry Carey is a good-natured cop who is on hand for the release of his son (Bruce Cabot) from prison. Carey is friendly and sympathetic but also determined to keep Cabot on the straight and narrow, but Cabot has a chip on his shoulder against society. His former girlfriend (Julie Bishop) connects with him and they attend a dance together, but afterwards, a shady character approaches Cabot and gets him to join up with a gang run by a Ma Barker-type (Wynne Gibson). She asks him to get a job through his father in the police radio room, so that when her gang pulls off their next robbery, he can short circuit the radio transmitters and delay by two minutes the call for police to arrive at the scene, enough time for the crooks to get away. Cabot agrees to do it, and the crooks get away, but not before Carey is wounded. When the heat gets too much for Gibson, she leaves Cabot on his own when suspicion falls on him, and when he kills the mother of an old friend who could rat him out, we know he's not redeemable. An average B-crime movie of the era, enlivened a bit by Carey, playing a bit against type as kindly instead of gruff. The young Glenn Ford, in one of his first movies, is good; his role as the old friend of Cabot's whose mom is killed is fairly small but important. Cabot is fine, Bishop (credited as Jacqueline Wells) is unmemorable; Edgar Buchanan is a bartender and Bruce Bennet has a small part as a crook. The scene of Ford's mother getting killed isn't shown, just mentioned, which dissipates the strength of that plot point. At one hour, it's well paced and doesn't wear out its welcome. Pictured are Cabot and Ford. [TCM]

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