A big national crime syndicate moves into town, partnering with local crime boss Nick Scanlon (Robert Ryan). There are two problems: 1) Nick is the violent type, preferring to do things the old-fashioned way instead of using the syndicate’s more persuasive methods. 2) Captain Thomas McQuigg (Robert Mitchum), the only honest police captain on the force and his loyal rookie patrolman, Johnson (William Talman).
In grand movie tradition, McQuigg and Scanlon came from the same background but went in different directions
McQuigg and Johnson take on the violent Nick and try to foil the syndicate’s plans to elect DA Mortimer Welsh (Ray Collins), the crooked prosecutor running for a crooked judgeship.
Lizabeth Scott plays Irene Hayes, a nightclub singer mixed up with Nick’s clean younger brother Joe (Brett King).
Howard Hughes’ RKO studio was not trying for a blockbuster here, just a good B movie suitable for twin bills. In that, they succeeded.
Captain Thomas McQuigg
Officer Bob Johnson
DA Mortimer X. Welsh
Detective Sgt. Turk
Precinct Sgt. Jim Delaney
Chief Investigator Harry Craig
Booking Sgt. Sullivan