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Friday, August 24, 2012

Down Three Dark Streets (1954)

When an FBI agent (Kenneth Tobey, THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD) is killed while investigating a case, the fellow agent (Broderick Crawford) who is assigned the three cases the murdered agent was working on attempts to discover which of the three cases involves his killer. All three cases involve three women: single mother Ruth Roman is being extorted for her late husband's insurance money, good time gal Martha Hyer is protecting the whereabouts of her homicidal lover (Joe Bassett), blind Marisa Pavan's husband (Gene Reynolds) is sent to prison for refusing to talk about a car theft ring. This is a modest but very well made gripping noir-ish thriller shot faux documentary style (by Joseph Biroc, IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE) on the streets of L.A. The screenplay is by Mildred and Gordon Gordon (sic) based on their novel CASE FILE: FBI and the similarities to their later screenplay for EXPERIMENT IN TERROR are quite evident. While perhaps not as stylish as the later Blake Edwards film, this is a solid recommended effort. Directed by Arnold Laven. With Claude Akins, Jay Adler, Casey Adams and William Schallert.

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