One of Siegel's most vigorous crime-thrillers, and a key study of the gangster as psychotic. Rooney is surprisingly and superbly cast as the Depression desperado increasingly unable to control his outbursts of irrational violence, while the supporting cast - including Gordon as John Dillinger - is expertly deployed. But it is the sheer pace and economy of Siegel's direction that lend the film its anarchic energy; recreation of period is almost ignored in favour of an emphasis on actions exemplifying the anti-hero's sexually-insecure neuroses. A superior example of the way B-movie conventions may be transcended by wit and a fertile imagination.
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||Irving Shulman, Daniel Mainwaring|
Ted de Corsia