“All we ever see is crooks, murderers, winos, stoolies, dames — all with an angle. You get so you think everybody’s like that; ’til you find out different, it’s kind of a lonely life.”
A city cop (Robert Ryan) with increasingly violent tendencies is sent by his concerned boss (Ed Begley) to help with a murder case up north in the countryside. Once there, he falls in love with the blind sister (Ida Lupino) of the young killer (Sumner Williams), and finds himself trying to stop the victim’s vengeful father (Ward Bond) from inflicting even more violence.
Response to Peary’s Review:
As Peary notes, in this “minor melodrama”, director Nicholas Ray once again explores one of his favorite themes — “males who [don’t] understand the reason for their violent natures, [and have] trouble controlling their impulses to lash out physically”. He notes that it’s “intense but not very convincing”, with Ida Lupino’s role as a blind mediator between Ryan’s rage and better instincts particularly forced; yet it still has much to recommend it, including Ryan (always compelling) in the lead role; a riveting score by Bernard Herrmann; smart dialogue (particularly that spoken by Charles Kemper as Ryan’s older partner, “Pop” Daly); and beautiful wintry scenery “up north”. It’s worth a look, and is must-see viewing simply as part of Ray’s iconic oeuvre.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
Yes, as one of Ray’s earliest noteworthy films.