A rain-slicked wharf, a foghorn sounds, and the rumble starts. With just a single back-alley set and a five-and-ten cent script, Siegel's early B gang picture can make 'the street' more real than all the stylisations of later efforts like The Wanderers. There's a street-corner girl who dances with her mouth, and there's Cassavetes as Frankie, the leader who can't bear to be touched, dripping all the bug-eyed surliness of his grown-up movies and hiding all the dirty little secrets that each family contains. Coil-spring tension is supplied by the long run-in to the first test of manhood - the big kill. If it's a shade heavy on the psychodrama at the expense of the action, at least the confrontations have spine; and if the ending is necessarily happy, at least it's due to a kid brother rather than the earnest social worker. Like a zip-gun, cheap and effective. CPea.
Cast and crew