German-born Robert Siodmak was on a roll in the 1940’s with Phantom Lady in 1944, Spiral Staircase in ’45, and The Killers in 1946. Solid film noir work
They are no De Niro and Pacino but the dueling cop and crook here (with a ton in common) Victor Mature and Richard Conte are rock solid—and were at their peak in 1948. Mature was in My Darling Clementine in 46’, Kiss of Death in 47’ and Conte would probably do his best career work the following year in House of Strangers in 1949
Early archiveable film (one of 18 by my count) for Shelley Winters in a key scene on the streets of New York City at night
Praise-worthy score from Alfred Newman
Authenticity—taking realism to noir—speaking real Italian on the phone, shots in Little Italy on location are the best and most famous parts of the film (though the first 20 minutes take place indoors at hospital)
The two leads are both very good- the diminutive but cunning Conte and the big lumbering massive and emotional Mature. Conte had that smirk—Mature always so serious.
You just can’t simulate these New York city streets in the studio with the billboards and street sign lighting—at 62 minutes with Winters driving
Really strong writing—apparently Ben Hecht (uncredited) wrote and/or doctored.
A jaw-dropper—lighting outside the massage place at 68 minutes
The finale—the shootout on the sidewalks— beautiful, steam pouring out from the streets, the lighting from the streetlamps