Given that Heston spent most of his career playing monumental heroes, it's a surprise to find him cast as a petty hood in this, his Hollywood debut. He's a war hero fallen on tough times who makes a living hustling at poker. There's a homicidal maniac on his heels, out to avenge the death of his brother who committed suicide after losing a fortune to Heston at the table. As the title makes clear, we're in the realm of film noir. A plaintive score from Franz Waxman and moody camerawork from Victor Milner ensure the picture scores on atmosphere, but veteran director Dieterle hasn't been dealt much of a hand by his scriptwriters.
Cast and crew
John Meredyth Lucas, Lawrence B Marcus