Lang’s noir thriller retains its shocking power in this drum tight and violent revenge film directed with muscular clarity and force. Glenn Ford plays a straight-arrow police detective named Bannion. He takes on the criminals who control the politics in his town and has an implacable hatred for the gang headed by Mike Lagana (Alexander Scourby) and his right-hand man Vince Stone (Lee Marvin).

The film is as deceptive and two-faced as anything Lang ever made, with its sunny domestic tranquility precariously separated from a world of violence. This is one of the inspired performances of Grahame. She plays the disenchanted girlfriend of arrogant and abusive Stone (Lee Marvin) with a wonderfully cool lightness, a woman who finds herself impressed with the way Bannion stands up to the bullies. But she is to meet a horrible fate, and in some ways this is the single most shocking moment in Lang’s career.

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