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  • Made in 1948, ‘Bodyguard' is the first of several effective and taut noir B-thrillers made by Richard Fleischer at the start of his career. ‘Follow Me Quietly' and ‘Clay Pigeon' came next, (both 1949) and finally, with increasing assurance, ‘Armored Car Robbery' (1950) and ‘The Narrow Margin (1952). There's a comparison to be made here between Fleischer's work and that of his contemporary Anthony Mann. Starting with ‘Desperate' (1947) Mann founded his own directorial reputation on several effective B-thrillers around the same time, work now highly regarded among fans. Fleischer's films, though sharing many of the same qualities, are relatively less well known and await discovery. While in the 50's Mann went on to direct a great series of Westerns with James Stewart such as ‘Naked Spur' and then to the quality epic ‘El Cid', Fleischer's later career was workman-like, entertaining, if generally unexceptional.

    ‘Bodyguard' apparently exists in two version. There's a 75 minute ‘director's cut' out there somewhere. The one discussed here is the original 62 minute release. I suspect that most of those missing minutes might have disappeared from the potentially gruesome meat factory finale. These are scenes which feel slightly abbreviated, but generally continuity and plot seem unimpaired from any trimming. As the then unknown Robert Altman co-wrote the screen play, it would be interesting to see what has been excised.

    At the heat of the film is ex-homicide detective Mike Carter, played with stoney-eyed, rigid-backed conviction by Lawrence Tierney. The plot is the old one of the hero framed by the real villains to throw the law off their scent, and of his attempts to clear his name while on the run. Tierney (who also appeared in ‘Reservoir Dogs' (1992) - no doubt chosen by Tarantino because of his minor noir-iconic status) had just appeared in one of the great films of the genre, Wise's ‘Born to Kill/Lady of Deceit' (1947) when he was cast next in ‘Bodyguard'. A legendary real life tough guy, his brawling presence dominates proceedings. As an actor he had the ability to project a dead calm, scowling brutalness - ideal for noir, a characteristic he showed beyond doubt as a superb Dillinger in the movie of the same name (1945). In the present film he is a cop at the outset, but soon loses his job after fighting with his boss - in effect turning into a private detective. Although he is hired as a `bodyguard', Carter's semi-official investigative powers, his struggle to clear his name after he is framed, as well as the pervading air of conspiracy and persecution place this clearly in noir territory. Ultimately Carter ends up protecting his own body from the manhunt and killers, rather than that of his client.

    The noir style frequently brought out the best in directors of all abilities. The shooting requirements of the genre (shadow, cheap sets, anonymous location and so on) made a virtue out of low budgets. Fleischer's tough film is punctuated with some particularly effective scenes. At one point Carter is led by evidence to an opticians office. Himself seated in an examination chair for a check up, Carter quizzes the nervous eye doctor. As he questions his suspect, Carter's eye fills the screen in dramatic close up, his iris contracting under the light. The view is disconcerting as it reveals the ex-cop under a microscope, as it were, while the emotionless hard-boiled dialogue continues over the image. We are as close to the man as we can get, but his language reveals nothing.

    A would-be attacker is reflected in a mirror, and a swift struggle ensues. Carter brutally subdues both men, then both he and girlfriend bluff their way past an arriving policeman to escape. There's tension, pacing and originality of staging here, enough to do justice to a bigger crime picture. Mirrors have already played a part in the plot: earlier, with calm professionalism, Carter deduced why an assassin's bullet missed Gene Dyson. The killer, he decides, had mistaken the old lady's reflection for the real thing. Later in the plot, the near perfect sight of the murdered meat inspector is the fact upon which the case ultimately turns. The equation of ‘seeing' with ‘comprehension' - a common conceit in noir - falls into place discreetly, without strain.

    The biggest weakness of the film is the relationship between Carter and his girlfriend. Too often a compliant and docile investigative companion, and too quick to put up with the rigours involved, she lacks strength and individuality. When Carter rushes to her assistance at the end of the film (a setting reminiscent of the meat-packing plant robbery of ‘Gun Crazy' filmed two years later) one feels she has served her only necessary purpose apart from lazily filling out his home life. With the luxury of a longer running time, she might have added another dimension to the hero. She is reduced to a plot device, a noir damsel in distress.

    ‘Bodyguard' is well worth seeking out among more obscure noirs. There are better films but the non-nonsense strengths of this production, as well as the pleasure of seeing Tierney playing a star role make it enjoyable.
  • A consensus seems to exist among commentators on Richard Fleischer's Bodyguard, based on a story by the young Robert Altman. The consensus is that, as it stands, it fails to satisfy; the background to this verdict is that somewhere there is – or at least was – a longer cut of the picture that probably would have been, if not a little masterpiece of film noir, a less nettlesome movie.

    Feral Lawrence Tierney, a detective fired from the force for insubordination, gets offered the job of bodyguard to a old woman whose wealth comes from the meat-packing industry. At first reluctant, he accepts when shots shatter a mirror in the woman's home. Following her on a nocturnal errand, he's coshed on the head and comes to in his car parked on railway tracks; riding shotgun is the police officer who fired him, dead. Now the prime suspect, he lams up.

    Assisting him in his efforts to clear himself is Priscilla Lane, his mole in police headquarters. (They devise a curious means of communication. She reads the files onto 78s and delivers them to a record store where he listens to them in a booth.) It turns out that his murdered superior investigated the death of a meat inspector at one of the plants owned by his employer....

    What remains of the movie is directed with pace and even some style by Richard Fleischer (The Narrow Margin, Armored Car Robbery, The Boston Strangler; he showed a lot of sass in his early days, before he ossified into a hack.) But what we lack compromises what we have. The 13 minutes excised from the movie somewhere along the line no doubt patch up the holes in the leaky plot – like, who knew Tierney was off to the optometrist's office and set up the ambush?

    A fuller version would probably make, as has been remarked, for a more grisly final confrontation, a la Upton Sinclair's The Jungle, in the meat-processing plant; in the print in common circulation, it abruptly fizzles out. Certainly, that's the lack most keenly felt. What with the meat saws whining and the meat grinders rumbling, surely Fleischer did not conclude the story with the malefactor hurling an empty pistol, bootlessly, at Tierney – to be followed, almost instantly, with Tierney and Lane leaving on their honeymoon. Somewhere out there, a few links of blood sausage are missing.
  • BODYGUARD (1948) is a snappy 62-min. b&w noir programmer directed by Richard Fleischer and starring Lawrence Tierney. Rather than repeat what others have said here, I'd rather emphasize a couple of things that truly distinguish this film. For one thing, it was filmed largely on location at sites all over Los Angeles. Ex-policeman Mike Carter (Lawrence Tierney), trying to clear himself of a false murder charge, moves around L.A. quite vigorously in the course of his investigation, sometimes by car, sometimes by cab, and sometimes on foot, traveling to shops, offices, back alleys, factories, piers, and amusement arcades all over the city. If you like seeing film footage of L.A. in the 1940s, there are many films with abundant footage, but none quite like this one.

    Also, I'd like to single out a very clever scene that offers an ingenious method of secretly transmitting key information from one location to another in the era before fax machines, cell phones, or e-mail. Carter needs the contents of a case file kept by the police officer whose murder he's been framed for. Only his girlfriend, Doris (Priscilla Lane), who works in the department, can find the file for him. He tells her over the phone to write down all the important cases handled by the officer in the past year and then go to an amusement arcade on 3rd Street, find a "Record Your Own Voice" booth and read all the cases into the microphone onto as many vinyl records (78 rpm) as needed, and then to leave the stack of records for him at the cashier's counter under an assumed name. Carter's plan is to go to the arcade, give the assumed name, enter an available booth and listen to the records until he finds the case he's looking for. There are wonderful little details of character and street life woven into the scene (and just about every scene in the movie). When Carter first enters the arcade, the brassy blonde at the counter is flirting with two sailors and claims not to know anything about a stack of records for a "Mr. Nolan." An anxious Carter gets insistent and the two sailors turn on him, spoiling for a fight. Only then does the manager come over and defuse the situation and find the package of records for Carter. It's just a brief moment but it not only adds to the suspense, but captures so much of the tenor of the time and place.

    The basic plot itself-corrupt industrialist covers up shady business practices via murder and convenient frame-ups-would get recycled ad infinitum on TV cop shows in the 1970s. But it might have seemed somewhat fresh back in 1948, especially after ALL MY SONS (also 1948), based on Arthur Miller's play, raised a similar issue in a drama of a wartime industrialist who sends out defective airplane parts with tragic results.
  • Tough-talking mug Lawrence Tierney is the hero of this quick and dirty cheapy from 1948. He plays a detective who's kicked off the force for being a hot head, and gets a job moonlighting as the bodyguard for an elderly lady (Elizabeth Risdon), matriarch and acting manager of a large and successful meat-packing company, whose life is being threatened for unknown reasons. Of course it's not long before we and Tierney realize that he's been set up to be the fall guy for a crooked plot to swindle the company away from the old lady, and he helps crack the case with the help of his girl Friday Priscilla Lane.

    "Bodyguard" is almost laughingly short and inconsequential, but it's an awful lot of fun. There's nothing especially striking about the writing or visual style, but yet it doesn't feel anonymous either. There are some clever set pieces to distinguish the film, most notably a scene that takes place in an optometrist's office and that uses some clever lighting and framing. And Tierney has a cute relationship with Lane, and it's refreshing to see a woman in a film like this take an active role in solving the crime rather than simply be someone the leading man has to rescue.

    Robert Altman (credited as Robert B. Altman) wrote the story for this film at the ripe old age of 25.

    Far from a must see, but enjoyable if you can find it.

    Grade: B-
  • Id like to think Altman (24 at the time) wrote that Mike Carter listening to the Exposition Lady on the Many Records scene himself (it slaps, especially the bit where the woman talks to the person listening in), plus that amusing set piece at the eye doctor's office.

    Bodyguard is somewhat Meat and Potatoes 'Some-Mug-Set-Me-Up-Ill-Find-Out-Who-Can't-Go-To-the-Cops-Whaddaya-Crazy piece of pulp, elevated by some decent if occasionally uncanny direction from Fleischer (watch for those EXTREME close-ups and quick zoom-ins - say, maybe this did influence Altman after all) and in particular Tierney, who plays this ex-homicide detective turned bodyguard turned Man Solving His Own Frame-Job with some quick skills, a bit of wit and a number of swift punches and choke-holds (not to mention disguises, re that Eye doctor scene). Everyone else here is more or less serviceable, but his presence single-handedly makes it compelling; in another world, he couldve been a more hard-boiled Dick Tracy.

    I'm not sure if it would be quite as memorable without its star and a few above average twists (and one I called halfway through... Yeah, I wasn't quick on the draw this time). A true blue B movie that goes by like reading a crumpled paperback on a commute.

    (Really, much as I kid, the Altman part is a bit of a foot-note, one of four credited writers, and he didn't go back to movies gor another nine years)
  • Slick,speedy 'B' thriller with on(and off!)screen tough guy Lawrence Tierney as a suspended cop eventually agreeing to do some work on the side as a bodyguard for a wealthy family.The plot is inevitably fairly routine,but there are some well-handled scenes,and it remains watchable.One fact not usually mentioned;this was the final screen appearance of Priscilla Lane(best known for her roles in WARNER BROS. classics in the 30's,and Hitchcock's SABOTEUR);she was still far too young and surely had more years ahead as a screen actress.Her performance in her screen bow is OK,like Tierney and the rest of the cast.Director Richard Flesicher had better 'B' efforts up his sleeve though(THE NARROW MARGIN),a few years later.
  • Up until a few weeks ago, I only knew cult 40s tough guy Lawrence Tierney from his role in Tarantino's RESERVOIR DOGS (1991); recently, however, I managed to watch his 2 vehicles released on DVD by Warners as part of their "Film Noir Collection Vol. 2", namely DILLINGER (1945) and BORN TO KILL (1947). This Richard Fleischer film, then, would be my third from Tierney's short period of glory.

    Actually, the actor is the best thing about the whole movie - whose story, amazingly, was co-written by a very young Robert Altman! - as it's certainly a minor noir, albeit an enjoyable one; indeed, Tierney's cynical, no-nonsense attitude (reminiscent of Bogart, Mitchum and Robert Ryan) provides a good deal of amusement throughout. Still, the plot - a discredited cop uncovering corruption in a meat-packing company, when appointed to protect the elderly female proprietor - is nothing special and also kind of dreary; besides, the jovial personality of leading lady Priscilla Lane is as much unsuited to Tierney's hard-boiled façade as she is to the inherent bleakness of the genre!
  • They sure don't make 'em like "Bodyguard" anymore. No. They sure don't.

    This tough-as-nails, 1948, Crime/Thriller certainly packed a lot of story into its 62 minute running time.

    Containing some really priceless "tough-guy" dialog, "Bodyguard" has no-nonsense actor Lawrence Tierney playing Mike Carter, a real macho-man, L.A. police detective (with a hair-trigger temper) from the Homicide Squad.

    When Mike gets bounced off the force for brawling with his superior officer, who is later found dead, he becomes Suspect #1.

    Scrambling to clear his name, Carter soon finds himself up against a whole big mess of police corruption.

    "Bodyguard", filmed in b&w, is a solid, fast-paced, little B-movie with striking direction from Richard Fleischer.

    Nope. They sure don't make 'em like this anymore.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This is a relatively short low-budget little sleeper from 1948. For the money spent, this is a wonderful film--with good gritty acting and a dandy fast-paced Film Noir script. Like many Noir films, the actors are generally not top-tier names and faces--and this is a plus, as this both heightens the realism and intensified the experience. Lawrence Tierney plays a hot-headed cop who would rather beat a confession out of a perpetrator or search a home without a search warrant. As a result, he's suspended from the force. But, being such a volatile and violent person, he takes this poorly and tries to push his boss' face out the back of his skull--so he's fired.

    Later, a stranger approaches him with a huge wad of cash and wants to hire him as a bodyguard. Tierney, though, is a smart guy and smells something fishy--the money is too good and there MUST be a catch! However, he eventually relents and is pulled into a vicious murder conspiracy and is set-up to take the fall!! So, in Noir fashion, he needs to avoid the cops AND prove his innocence.

    All this works so very well,...that is up until the end. While his girlfriend, Lane, is fine in most of the film, at the end she stupidly goes to the hideout where the murders are hiding and is herself in great danger. This "brain lapse" is pretty inconsistent with the rest of the film and seems more like a cliché than anything the characters really would have done. But, aside from that, it's a fine and entertaining example of the genre.
  • This film is not about bodyguards. It is based on a story co-authored by the 23 year-old Robert Altman, his first screen credit. Dick Fleischer, just getting into his stride, here directs his first noir thriller, which was followed the next year by his brilliant 'The Clay Pigeon'. This film is not brilliant, but it is good, and would have been better if many minutes had not been cut out of it. Lawrence Tierney (no relation to Gene Tierney), who for years was a reliable tough guy, here plays a sympathetic cop who wants to get rough with the bad guys and is thrown off the Force, briefly taking on a bodyguard role (though that is just incidental), and becomes enmired in a frame-up and plenty of trouble. His doting girl friend is played charmingly by Priscilla Lane, in her last film before retiring from the screen at the age of 33. Tierney has a knockabout charm of his own, and grim-faced though he tends to be, can be grimly determined to nail the baddies and not only grimly determined to be wicked, as he was in other movies. There is a lot of harrowing business in a meat-packing plant, with dangerous saws and hooks on all sides, people getting killed by them, etc. So the menace is not spared. This is a solid if light-weight B thriller.
  • For what it is,this is a thoroughly enjoyable 40's detective flick.

    Mike Carter (Tierney),gets sacked for punching his superior in an office fracas and becomes tempted into protecting a rich,meat packing business woman from some unscrupulous characters.......oh and gets framed for the murder of his previous superior in the process.

    Assisting him is Doris Brewster (Lane),his girlfriend who still works in the police station he once frequented,and is able to provide Carter with valuable info from police files now out of his reach.

    At a runtime of just over an hour,a movie like this needs to have a cracking pace,and this movie doesn't disappoint. It has all the action,intrigue,humour and suspense you could need,including some great one liners delivered by Tierney,all thanks to Richard Fleischer's direction.

    You really cannot go wrong with this one.
  • bkoganbing29 June 2020
    Bodyguard is what Phillip Reed wants to hire recently former LA homicide Lawrence Tierney detective for. Reed feels his rich aunt Elizabeth Risdon is in need of protection.How right he is and she's not the only one.

    Tierney got bounced off the force recently for excessive force and his immediate superior who did the bouncing was killed. He's a suspect and Tierney has to protect Risdon and be wary not to be arrested.

    Risdon is a meat packing plant owner which has made her rich and there's quite a racket going on there. That also is uncovered by Tierney and girl Friday Priscilla Lane.

    Best scene in the film is Tierney listening to Priscilla Lane on record drone on about all the cases the recently deceased detective was on. Quite a laborious and boring task as Tierney's body language shows.

    Decent programmer without much mystery to it.
  • Usually the most routine of programmers will have something to recommend it: inventive cinematography, creative use of lighting and/or sound, a gem of a performance by a virtual unknown, a clever plot. Here is a film which, to give it the benefit of the doubt, is second-rate in all respects, a film whose budget, however slight, could have been put to better use. Virtually every twist and turn of the contrived story had been used elsewhere, the characters with whom we would identify are undeveloped and unappealing, and leading man Lawrence Tierney, stoical to a fault, had surely received his training at the George Raft School of Acting.

    With so many worthy films never shown on television, it is most unfortunate that a network chose to devote airtime to this one. Movies like this give B-pictures a bad name.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Tough guy Lawrence Tierney portrays a disgruntled and dishonored cop who finds menial work as a bodyguard, and ends up wanted for murder! Becoming tied in with corruption at wealthy widow Elisabeth Risdon's meat factory, putting up with her abuse and nasty assistants, and fighting other criminal elements in his efforts to clear himself. Post war cynicism and big business apathy play a large role in getting this complex story off the ground with a psychological darkness that truly reflects the downward turn in society after a war that had briefly united the entire free world.

    This tight, short film noir is one of those unique ones that is almost in a class by itself. It's dark even when the lights are on, and really tests the limit of the code with violence, anger and ugliness. Priscilla Lane exits the sweetness of the four daughters as Tierney's girlfriend who finds herself in danger in her efforts to find the real killer. This is where the camera takes over, almost becoming a character, showing the intensity of audience emotion, the fear in Lane's eyes as she is closed in, and the evil inside the killer's soul as they target Lane's vulnerable mouse like a ravenous cat. The moody tension outweighs the predictability to where clichés are practically ignored and gives the audience moderate satisfaction at the conclusion.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    BODYGUARD is a taut little thriller directed by Richard Fleischer in the early years of his career. At a trim 60 minutes, it packs in more plot than modern movies do in their two-hour running times. I especially enjoyed Lawrence Tierney in an infrequent good guy role - here he's Mike Carter, a cop with a nasty temper who gets himself fired for slugging his commanding officer. He's then approached to act as a bodyguard for an ageing widow who runs her late husband's meat-packing plant. Though he's grim-jawed throughout, and doesn't display much sense of humour at all, never mind sardonic wit, the film's noir trappings have lead many to label this a noir picture.

    However, lacking a deadly female leading the hero into all kinds of trouble and with no typically gloomy noir ending, I can't put this movie in that pigeonhole.

    The heroine is the sunny and all-American Priscilla Lane in her last film. She'd earlier made quite a splash as the fiancé of Mortimer Brewster (Cary Grant) in the madcap comedy ARSENIC AND OLD LACE, and here plays the faithful and supportive girlfriend of Tierney.

    There's not a lot to dislike about this film. Carter doesn't have much personality, but he doesn't need it to solve the case. The other cops are a bit one dimensional and the family at the centre of the mystery don't have a lot to do. But it clocks in at 4 seconds under an hour, and its very brevity is more of a plus point than a liability. Try to catch it if it turns up on TCM. It's a fine object lesson in economic storytelling.
  • MartinTeller3 January 2012
    Lawrence Tierney plays a homicide detective who gets kicked off the force for his bad temper. He lands a bodyguard job, but soon finds himself framed for murder. Although it's hardly a noir masterpiece, it's an enjoyable film that ranks among Fleischer's better efforts. The script (by a young Robert Altman, of all people!) is tight and lean, with some fun bits of business. The photography is not especially memorable, but it gets the job done and there are a few unusual close-ups. It's nice to see Tierney in a role that allows him to stretch a little more than his usual "psychotic heavy" parts, and he has a lively chemistry with the adorable Priscilla Lane. The whodunit aspect of the film isn't all that satisfying (you can guess who the bad guy is the moment you see him/her) but it's got some nice details and is sufficiently entertaining.
  • Because the formula of the movie required (and restricted) what the film would/could have in it. This is a well made fast paced movie with flashes of effective style and some novel touches. Like the following: The "boss" of the meat packing business, the character that requires a bodyguard, is an older woman for instance. And the setting of a conspiracy at a meat packing plant is also kind of novel. The set up with the angry cop getting tossed off the force has a nice pay off in the plot.

    There are some effective shock moments in the film too though most of these are in the first half.

    But what's missing, and not "required" from a B picture in much real drama. It's by the numbers without anything other than those numbers being hit. There seems to be no real emotions at stake for the characters. Good guys, Good gals, bad guys fill in their zone of the script without becoming, or allowed to become, real people who have real lives at stake. This doesn't become the existential nightmare for the lead bodyguard or the Kafkaesque descent of the outsider tosses into darkness that the great noirs sometimes achieve. The actors could be partially faulted for this, Tierney is so tough that he never stops to be really concerned about his own fate or anyone Else's.

    There is a good element of mystery as to who the real villain is. But what that this does is keep the film from having any real menace. And what the villain or villains do isn't gripping enough, frequently enough, to keep any sense of suspense of danger to the proceedings. It's a puzzle the main character must solve--not much more.

    Rumors of a longer cut? Never heard those rumors before the IMDb. Though the "remaining" movie doesn't feel like it's missing anything--other than a deeper script. The style of the direction hints at deeper darker things but that's not in the program so to speak. It's very good for what it is allowed to be, or "B" if you prefer. Plot, Action, style-no resonance or deeper secrets allowed.
  • ugnsotsm5711 August 2005
    Classic Film Noir I love the one liners,the quality of acting is quite funny and mediocre, but, I like the plot, it has its good moments in it and the overall script is quite well written I think it could've'e been better by way of perhaps making the film longer and intensifying the plot a bit more, but none the less its still an entertaining film to watch. I love the fashion of the film to, the suits are well designed and tailored. overall bodyguard is a slow moving at times but overall well paced film the potential could be great for a remake but why touch a classic! let film noir reman film noir! its one of those films you can kick back & watch late night!
  • Director Richard Fleischer's lean crime thriller with Noirish touches features Lawrence Tierney as an ex-cop who gets caught up in a frame up and a murder or two. Priscilla Lane (in her final film role) plays his girlfriend who still works for the police and abets his investigation on the sly. At barely over an hour, one can't expect much in the way of character development nor intricate plotting, but Fleischer and his four writers (including a young Robert Altman getting his first screen credit!) pack enough here to keep it interesting enough. Tierney suits the part of a thuggish investigator while Lane provides suitably perky support (the film is edited so tightly that it seems as though the couple are living together - without marriage! OMG! In 1948?!). Other familiar faces in the cast include Philip Reed, Steve Brodie and Elisabeth Risdon. Fleischer went on to make several more crime pictures including the original NARROW MARGIN, while Tierney became an iconic tough guy (I used to see him hang out in a local revival house towards the end of his life. Always seated up close to the screen). BODYGUARD is very much a bottom half of the bill B movie, but, it's not a bad way to spend an hour.
  • ... and I know "passable" and "thriller" seem like a contradiction in terms, but then so is this film in a way. That is mainly because Lawrence Tierney is playing against type and himself. He does a pretty good job as police detective Mike Carter who is fired in the first few minutes of the film for fist to cuffs during an investigation and then fist to cuffs with his superior officer.

    He then gets an offer from a rich family that owns a meatpacking plant. They practically beg him to be the bodyguard of the matron of the family. They throw large wads of cash at him, and also an apparent attempt is made on the woman's life while he is visiting the home. He accepts the offer against his better judgment. He should have listened to that better judgment.

    Later he is investigating strange noises he hears on the estate when he is knocked unconscious and wakes up in his car with his ex-boss - the one he had a fight with - dead in the passenger seat. And the car is on the railroad tracks with a train headed for it. Carter jumps out, but now he realizes he has been set up for his boss' murder, figures it has to be related to the job that was practically thrown at him, and has to investigate and find the real killers without running into the police. Maybe his brother Scott Brady should have called Tierney and asked him how he got out of this mess when he winds up in a similar spot in "Undertow" the following year. But I digress.

    Along for the ride is Priscilla Lane as his fiancee and a secretary at the precinct where Mike worked and the only person Mike can trust at this point. And I wonder why the police didn't figure that out and just follow her from the beginning, but then we'd have no movie.

    It's not that Tierney is bad at this role, it is just after seeing him in Dillinger, The Devil Thumbs a Ride, Hoodlum, and Born To Kill, it is just hard to buy him as the wrongly accused honest cop who is a one woman man. As good as Priscilla Lane and Tierney are, I just don't feel any chemistry between their characters. Still worth a watch for the good fast paced script and for people who are curious about Lawrence Tierney playing a good guy.
  • Fleischer would go on to direct much better movies, and in fact the excellent "Follow Me Quietly" is his next film. Robert Altman's story co-credit indicates nothing. Enjoyable performances from Tierney and Lane, and a short and well-photographed fight scene in a butchery near the end, don't make up for the mundane plot.
  • Not the Whitney Houston thing, but the obscure B noir quickie with tough guy deluxe, Lawrence Tierney. Tierney once again displays the full range of human emotion between grimacing and scowling as he roughs someone up daily, is fired for slugging his boss, is generally rude to everyone, and he's the good guy this time! Suddenly an ex-cop, Tierney investigates a murder and discovers indisputable evidence that meatpacking plants are the source of all evil. The plot seems constipated, until it all comes out at once in time for the meat hook and hog saw finale. A few nice shots of vintage LA night streets, a few Tierney wisecracks in between punches, a ridiculous plot, and in a flash you are right back on the street wondering how or why you found it somewhat enjoyable.
  • A film noir from 1948 starring Laurence Tierney & directed by Richard Fleischer (Fantastic Voyage/20,000 Leagues Under the Sea). A cop is fired from his position for being a loose cannon but immediately a man has an offer for him to be a bodyguard for a widow who runs a meatpacking empire. At first reluctant, he meets his client & almost the moment he says 'no' shots ring out from an attempt on her life. Naturally he agrees but when one night he sees the widow leave the house, he follows & for his troubles gets knocked out from behind & wakes up w/his ex boss next to him murdered while his car stands in the path of an oncoming freight train. Escaping w/his wits, Tierney knows the fix is in so he avoids any law enforcement entanglements as he tries to clear his name which is tied to the accidental death of a meat inspector from a year before but after some judicious digging, we find out the death was a murder. As we circle in on the who & the why, Tierney, assisted by his girlfriend, played by Priscilla Lane (who works at the homicide office), gets the information he needs & races to confront the killer before he can put his mitts on Lane who has let her bout of private eye go to her head. Not the typical noir which usually languishes on the downbeat side of the human condition, this yarn moves at a quick pace (credit Fleischer's nimble direction for that) w/a healthy modicum of humor (a scene where Tierney has to listen to a stack of recordings detailing his ex boss's arrests is a lesson in comedic patience) thrown in whenever things feel like they're becoming a bit too rote. Tierney is quite bouncy in the lead (a complete opposite to his rather tumultuous drunken fist-fighting self he was in real life) but not above throwing a haymaker to get his point across.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    A lightning paced noir from Richard Fleischer featuring another tough as nails performance by Lawrence Tierney. As a cop recently drummed off the force, Tierney reluctantly takes a job as bodyguard to the head of meat packing company and uncovers plenty of shenanigans. Fleischer, who excelled at putting together excellent hard boiled thrillers during the early part of his career, does not disappoint here. This slender noir gives Tierney a great opportunity to do what he does best...snarl and toss off nasty one-liners. He's always entertaining. He's also well paired with the terrific Priscilla Lane. Always full of spunk and game for anything, it's a shame that the very talented Lane did not have a more substanative film career.
  • This is a fairly rote B movie plot saved by badass Tierney being a badass. Not as good as Born to Kill, but an okay yarn.
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