11 December 2012 | secragt
Armed and Cantankerous
Typically violent and existential parolee noir featuring perennial patsy Dane Clark just out from the pokey after taking the fall for bad guy William Talman. Clark finds plenty more trouble on his very first day of release, quickly descending into murder and armed robbery with only a brief romantic interlude with true blue May Wynn, who ought to know better. Noir vet Barton MacClane gets in a couple good lines as the cop who put Clark away the first time and looks likely to do so again.
Like many hard luck characters preceding him in noirdom, Clark appears forever snake-bit and no matter how he squirms or where he shoots, the flypaper just gets stickier. Clark's character has never gotten a particularly fair shake though he asks for some of what he gets. In short, he's not the kind you'd send a Christmas card to. His fate is never really in doubt,though you may decide to stick around to see whether the love of a good (naive) woman can prevent ultimate bloodshed (what do you think?) Overall a sincere if inevitable effort with a few thrills and not the worst b-movie 2nd feature in that context.