essentially a prelude to dassin’s amazing film “thieves’ highway.” unfortunately it’s less of a film in almost every regard. bogart is good, but he plays a rare supporting role. it’s made more rare because of the fact that his character is not in a dominate role. even in early films where bogart wasn’t a lead (dead end, petrified forest, etc.) he played a dominate character. in both those films he played an outlaw on the run, and while he didn’t get as much screen time as joel mccrea, bette davis or leslie howard, he was still the leader of his crew. here he plays second fiddle to george raft.
the ending was definitely on the weak side. while it’s a noir in the strictest sense, it doesn’t have the same impact as thieves’ highway, or the killing, or many other noirs because the protagonist gets such a raw deal in those.
sarris writes about the walshian hero not being concerned with the how or why of things, rather being more concerned with seeking adventure. i think that’s more true in films like high sierra and white heat than it is here.
a pretty average noir so far as i’m concerned.