Directed by Anthony Mann
Based on the novel Dr. Broadway by Borden Chase
Screenplay by Art Arthur
Starring: Macdonald Carey, Jean Phillips, Eduardo Ciannelli, Joan Woodbury
Dr. Timothy Kane (Carey) has come face to face with a man he helped send to prison. Now this lifelong criminal is dying, and he’s hoping Dr. Kane can help him make amends. After things go sideways, Dr. Kane is relying on his connections to make things right.
This film marked the start of the legendary career of director Anthony Mann (Bend of the River). This film might best be classified as a B-level noir, and was originally designed to be the first of a series of films. (No further films were made in the series.) The story was pulled from Borden Chase’s (Red River) book of the same name, and adapted by Art Arthur (Sea Hunt). The cast includes Macdonald Carey (Shadow of a Doubt), Jean Phillips (Night in New Orleans), Eduardo Ciannelli (Foreign Correspondent), and Joan Woodbury (The Ten Commandments).
This is a story that doesn’t try too hard to be serious. Despite the serious shell involving murder and danger, there is plenty of humor. The dialogue is filled with witty one-liners and clichés that really fit the feel of the film. There are lots of little twists throughout the film, though the outcome is never truly in doubt. Like many of the pulp novels of the area, this one is fun and easy to digest. The characters fit the world of the film and really make this one worth checking out.
The acting in this one fits right into the level of storytelling. The minor characters are all depicted in a way that creates a fun and very unique world for the story. Macdonald Carey does a really good job leading the way in this one. He seemed to understand the nature of the film and the need for not taking things too seriously. Jean Phillips also does a nice job in this one. Like Carey, she was able to keep this one fun. Eduardo Ciannelli and Joan Woodbury also do a good job with their roles. Overall, the cast seemed to know how this would play best, and their work makes this one fun.
This is a great example of how B-movies can be fun. Fans of film noir should make sure to check this one out. I would also suggest this one to fans of Anthony Mann. He’s so often remembered for his psychological crime and Western dramas, and this is something entirely different. This is also one to see if you’re a fan of any of the stars. I give this one 3 out of 5 stars.