13 January 2007 | MartinHafer
A very good Noir film due to its realism and lack of clichés
This film is rather reminiscent of the excellent Alan Ladd Noir film, APPOINTMENT WITH DANGER (about a postal inspector infiltrating a murderous gang). In this case, the undercover work is done by two Treasury agents--Dennis O'Keefe and Alfred Ryder. I really liked these two as leads because despite being far from household names, the acting was excellent and believable. Also, true to Noir, they weren't exactly handsome guys--more like a tough average man instead of the usual non-Noir heroes.
O'Keefe and Ryder play undercover agents who are trying to infiltrate a gang of counterfeiters. It's dangerous work and they can't just arrest people because they have no idea who is in charge. Throughout the film, tough bad guys (such as Charles McGraw) and unflinching but realistic violence is present--as well as an excellent level of suspense. Unlike some Noir films, this one pulls no punches nor does it give way to sentimentality. This is a seldom-seen but exceptional film for lovers of the genre.
By the way, I had one minor complain and that was the terrible narration. My score for the film, because of this, is knocked from an 8 to 7. When the film began, a Treasury official gave an introduction that was VERY stilted and he simply couldn't read his lines well. Then, throughout the film, a different narrator spoke on occasion and just wasn't necessary to the film--it was a minor distraction.