How would World War II veterans adjust to life on the postwar home front? Violence is a trim, noir-edged thriller wrapped around a then-topical story of a racketeering organization that recruits angry war veterans into its violent agenda.
How would World War II veterans adjust to life on the postwar home front? Hollywood looked at various aspects of that question in major films like The Best Years of Our Lives, Pride of the Marines and Till the End of Time. And it would look at it through the prism of B-movies like Violence, a trim, noir-edged thriller wrapped around a then-topical story of a racketeering organization that recruits angry war veterans into its violent agenda. Jack Bernhard of the previous year's applauded film noir Decoy directs. And future megahit TV producer Sheldon Leonard brings his snarling, tough-guy demeanor to the role of the racket's chief muscle. When he says "We got ways of makin' people talk," it's best you should listen.
With a title like VIOLENCE, the audience knew what it was in for from the get-go. Nancy Coleman plays Ann Mason, troubleshooting journalist for an illustrated newsmagazine. Going undercover, Ann infiltrates the United Defenders, a so-called patriotic organization comprised of thugs and extortionists. Preying on disillusioned war veterans, the United Defenders are able to spread their own brand of bigoted propaganda on a wide scale. In the midst of her investigation, Ann is injured in an auto accident, and as a result loses her memory. It's up to government investigator Steve Fuller (Michael O'Shea) to apprise Ann of her true identity, and to rescue her from the clutches of the villains (including such powerhouse "heavies" as Sheldon Leonard and Peter Whitney). VIOLENCE would seem to be inspired by the final sequence in RKO Radio's TILL THE END OF TIME, wherein a trio of ex-GIs dukes it out with a small band of hate-spouting "patriots".
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