George Dolenz is the Montreal scientist working on an atomic something-or-other. Foreign spies (could they be…. Communists??!!) hire exiled American gangster George Raft to get Dolenz and his secret into their clutches. His secret weapon for this project is the seductive power of Audrey Totter. Working for the angels is RCMP detective Edward G. Robinson. The expected race against time ensues.The Montreal setting is unusual, as is the idea of Robinson as a Mountie, so that’s fun. Rraft is very much the aging gangster by this point, but still rasps it out with the best, and the film is really about his redemption. Not only is Dolenz’ research a pure McGuffin, so is he, his character nothing more than the means to have Robinson and Raft play cat and mouse. This isn’t in the top rank of films noir, but it is still a lesson in how to pack a lot of entertainment into an economical 87 minutes.
Mono is the only option here – no stereo remixes. They aren’t missed. The sound has hardly aged, in that there is essentially no distortion, and no hiss or static to speak of. There are no bells and whistles to be had from a 1955 soundtrack, but the job is done as efficiently as that executed by the script.
The image is sharp, the print is pristine, and the black-and-white tones excellent. The dark scenes demonstrate terrific contrasts, never becoming murky. In brief, the film looks as good as it did the day of its release. We should always be so lucky, but this does seem to be a hallmark of this series of noirs.
Efficient, nostalgic entertainment. Great leads.