14 December 2014 | AlsExGal
The story is just OK but the atmosphere is fantastic
This is an odd case of a film having the same title as a film from twenty years before with absolutely no relation between the two. 1930's "Undertow" was about a lifeguard who marries a selfish party girl and then moves her to a lighthouse where things go downhill from there for both of them. This film has nothing to do with that forgotten but still surviving early sound film by the same studio and has nothing to do with an undertow, but I digress.
Tony Reagan used to be in the rackets, but after two stints in the military he is ready to go straight. He wants to buy and run a hunting and fishing lodge in the Rocky mountains and marry his girl, the daughter of an old rival of his back in his racketeering days. The movie starts in Reno where Tony runs into one of his old friends who is running a casino. While there he helps a schoolteacher on vacation (Peggy Dow as Ann McKnight) win 120 dollars rolling dice. You see, Tony still knows some of the tricks of the house. They share a plane ride home, and you can tell Ann thinks this might be headed some place romantic, something Tony does not pick up on. When he mentions his fiancée to her you can see her facial expression sink along with her hopes.
When they arrive in Chicago, Tony is met at the airport by the police. They take him to headquarters and say that the word is on the street that he is there to murder "big Jim", his fiancée's father, and tell him to leave town. Tony says to book him or leave him be. They leave him be, but soon he'll wish they had put him in jail because he would have been safer. That night he is knocked unconscious and when he comes to he is sitting in a parking lot in the car he rented earlier with a gunshot wound to his right hand and a gun sitting in the seat next to him. Then he learns on the radio that "Big Jim" has been killed that very night and that he is suspect number one. He tries all of his old friends looking for a hideout - the police have them all covered.
Then it hits him - the cops don't know about Ann, the girl he met in Reno. He dials her up and she helps him, even though she knows that he is a hunted murder suspect. So together this street smart fellow and naïve schoolteacher have to figure out who has framed him before the police can catch him. The suspense never lets up and there is some great photography and camera work involved here. I'll let you watch and find out what happens. Highly recommended.