A weatherbeaten Andrews gives one of his finest performances as Detective Mark Dixon, a belligerent cop whose father was a crook and whose roughhouse tactics appal his bosses. He's a good man at heart, but the fates are against him and his behaviour becomes closer and closer to that of the father he abhorred. Mobster Merrill is always on hand to taunt him about his background. His plight becomes yet more desperate when he accidentally kills a murder suspect and then falls in love with the widow (Tierney). Preminger's superior noir boasts hardboiled and sardonic dialogue, courtesy of Ben Hecht, but also a surprising strain of pathos as Dixon fights against his own nature. Brutal, fatalistic, but desperate for redemption, he's just the kind of cop James Ellroy would write about so well a generation later. (Adapted from the novel Night Cry by William L Stuart.