Sight and Sound - 12/01/2012
"[T]he great attraction is the knowing, unbuttoned, been-around-the-block rapport between Lupino and Cochran..."
In a film that became a private hell for its director, Howard Duff and Steve Cochran star as police detectives Jack Farnham and Cal Bruner. Assigned to recover $300,000 stolen in a holdup, the cops learn that one of the marked bills was passed off to nightclub singer Lilli Marlowe (Ida Lupino) as a tip. Since she's the only one who can identify the man with the bill, she joins the detectives on a wild chase through the streets of L.A., which ends with the thief being killed. Bruner grabs $80,000 of the stolen cash and goes off to call for backup. Later he stashes the loot in trailer 36 and cuts in his unwilling partner for 50 percent despite the latter's protestations. Bruner keeps Lupino quiet by offering to cut her on the take--and throws himself in to sweeten the deal. The detectives' boss, Captain Michaels (Dean Jagger), suspects that Bruner might have something to do with the missing money, but he lacks enough evidence to make an arrest. Lupino is good and Burnett Guffey's camerawork is suitably atmospheric in this solid little noir that the actress wrote and produced with ex-husband Collier Young.
Two cops stumble on $300,000 in cash during a robbery investigation. The first cop, unable on a policeman's wages to support his nightclub-singer girlfriend in style, decides to pocket $80,000 of the loot. He convinces his partner, a married man with a child, to come in for a cut. Driven by greed but plagued by guilty consciences, the men are soon plunged into a private hell where betrayal and death are the only way out.
Don Siegel reported that much of the cast was drunk throughout production.
The director fought constantly with Ida Lupino, who was backed, on the set, by her ex-husband, Collier Young, and future husband, Howard Duff. Lupino and Young were joint owners of Filmakers, the company that produced the film.
Sam Peckinpah was the dialogue director for the film.
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