A heavy-handed and tiresome film noir, with just about every cliche in the book, and at times cringeworthy characterizations and dialogue. It starts out as a crime drama, but then turns into a mysterious-“psychopathic”-killer-on-the-loose-and-out-for-revenge story (which would have been better if the killer’s identity had been more mysterious). But really it’s a post-war 1950s (re-)domestication drama (a stifling 1950s morality tale) of an all-American good guy (Heston) gone wrong overseas in the Second World War (though with no hint of post-traumatic stress disorder; instead it’s a case of domestic disorder. Overall a enjoyable movie to watch online.
Everything here turns out to be about the danger of domestic disorder), which too-conveniently and rather obscenely has its cake and eats it too by having Heston “save” (and get saved by) the widow of the man he cheated and drove to suicide from the man’s “psychopathic” brother (and in the process paying off her two mortgages with money he intentionally and magically wins playing craps!). Somehow Heston is a good guy who gets indulged by everybody (including the police) despite all his bad behavior (I guess because he’s the kind of guy who went to Cornell for free download, who came from a “good” family), but the “psychopathic” brother gets no sympathy whatsoever. But this film (and more so the society it represents) is the real psychopath. At least it features Heston and Jack Webb and Harry Morgan of TV’s Dragnet (i.e. conservative icons) as crooks (though it ruins even this not least of all by portraying the police as guardian angels, as deus ex machina).