Embezzler Edward Arnold goes to prison and son Tyrone Power tries to make it on his own honestly. Doesn't work out well. So Tyrone decides Pop was right and that the only way to make it ahead in the world is by being a crook. So he hooks up with gangster Lloyd Nolan and falls for Nolan's girl Dorothy Lamour. When Arnold finds out what his son is up to, he's none too pleased.
Enjoyable gangster drama with a fine cast. Some have said Power is miscast. I think he's okay for the part. It's not really a gritty movie, despite the plot. Maybe if it had been a tough film noir, I could see the point that Power was wrong for the role. But it's not and he isn't. Edward Arnold is good. I doubt the man ever did a bad acting job in his career. His character is somewhat poorly written and hard to relate to, but it's difficult to dislike him due to Arnold's sympathetic performance. Nice to see Charley Grapewin playing something besides a grizzled old-timer without most of his marbles. Beautiful Dorothy Lamour is always a plus and it's good to see her in a serious role. Lloyd Nolan pretty much steals the movie as the gangster Mickey Dwyer. Lionel Atwill is largely wasted as Arnold's attorney.
The biggest flaw with the movie is that its plot isn't always consistent. Arnold's character is a crook who first treats his son like crap for not being okay with his crookedness. Then later he treats his son like crap for becoming a criminal like Dad. Still, it's an enjoyable movie. The script's got some nice dialogue. Watch for the scene where Power chases, tackles, and beats Marc Lawrence's head against the ground! Yikes!
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