• A bunch of young roughnecks in the Hell's Kitchen section of Manhattan grow up to be Victor Mclaglen, Paul Kelly, William Gargan, Beatrice Roberts and a couple of others.

    Pardon me while I contemplate that sentence. Most of the others go straight, but Mclaglen goes to prison (which must be where he picked up that accent. Yeah. Everyone in Greenville and SingSing talks that way). Twenty years later and they've all grown up and mostly gone their ways, some into police work, Miss Roberts is a singer in Mclaglen's night club. They all still get together once a year. Except this year, the two of them who are cops are investigating a murder. A couple of Mclaglen's collectors got too rough with someone who wouldn't pay his gambling debts, and were sloppy getting rid of the clues, leading to one of the old pals who spotted them getting killed....

    It's from a novel by Borden Chase, and it's a fine little Universal B movie directed by Ray McCarey, Leo McCarey's kid brother and a reliable director of cheaper features. It's also got camerawork by the solid but not yet celebrated cinematographer Milton Krasna -- he wouldn't be nominated for an Oscar until 1942, and not win one until the 1950s. It's shot in beautiful, sharp black and white, showing off the beauty of industrial lines, even as the story and line readings crackle along.

    It's clearly not a great movie, but it does what a B movie is supposed to do -- tell a story with economy and beauty -- and tell it quickly.