Railroaded! - 1947 - 6/10
The masked goon, cocksure and aggressive, shoves the muzzle into the terrified doll’s face.
She shrieks, a nearby cop on the beat rushes over, and the robbery skids into chaos.
Hot lead spits across the room, leaving one dead policeman and a critically wounded thug.
For what, Junior? Knocking off a beauty salon.
The other robber, the one who gets clean away, is a calculating block of ice.
He sets up a patsy, an innocent schmuck, a rube, because he is wise and cynical about lawmen.
He knows cops will embrace the frame, knows they are under pressure, knows they will railroad an innocent man in a breath.
Then, while police push the stooge towards the gas chamber, he makes a play for the rube’s sister.
Middling Noir starts strong and the finish is a tour de force. In between, it shuffles indecisively.
Mystery, police procedural, romance, thriller. Blame the script, which cannot make up its mind.
Best is John Ireland as the dead eyed villain, more interested in his gun than men or women.
Much of this Anthony Mann film is quite dark (though later work would be darker), so view in a dimly lit room.