The Street With No Name (1948) DVDRip (SiRiUs sHaRe).avi
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The Street With No Name (1948)
After two gang-related killings in \"Center City,\" a suspect (who was framed) is arrested, released on bail...and murdered. Inspector Briggs of the FBI recruits a young agent, Gene Cordell, to go undercover in the shadowy Skid Row area (alias George Manly) as a potential victim of the same racket. Soon, Gene meets Alec Stiles, neurotic mastermind who\'s \"building an organization along scientific lines.\" Stiles recruits Cordell, whose job becomes a lot more dangerous...
Mark Stevens ... Gene Cordell / George Manly
Richard Widmark ... Alec Stiles
Lloyd Nolan ... Insp. George A. Briggs
Barbara Lawrence ... Judy Stiles
Ed Begley ... Chief Bernard Harmatz
Donald Buka ... Shivvy
Joseph Pevney ... Matty
John McIntire ... Cy Gordon
Walter Greaza ... Lt. Paul Staller
Howard Smith ... Ralph Demory
At first, the docu-drama approach feels like kind of a safety net that prevents the viewer from losing himself completely in this striking noir universe, but the intricacies of the police work were interesting to watch unfold and this is still a strong film. Particularly memorable are the taut, virtually noiseless chase scenes that take place in suitably dark, nightmarish settings, like the one where crook Widmark sniffs out undercover cop Stevens at the hideout. I also liked the colorful low life lingo such as when one of the thugs tells Stevens to \"pick yourself a boom-boom\" as they suit up for their big score.
Great to see Richard Widmark doing what he does best - playing villains, of course. Few actors could match Widmark when it came to that staple of screen heavies: losing their temper. This guy slaps people\'s faces with a karate-like precision that\'s remarkable. And just the way he tells some flunkie henchman he doesn\'t want around to \"blow\" is pure heaven. In a role like this, he owns the screen; he\'s like a well dressed rat always scavenging for his next meal.
I was reading a Cornell Woolrich story about a year ago and one of the characters used a Mark Stevens\' picture as an alibi for where they had been at a certain time. Never having heard of Stevens I assumed it was just a made up movie star name and movie title (\"I Wonder Who\'s Kissing Her Now\".) Imagine my surprise when shortly thereafter I looked up his name and found out that there certainly was such an actor, a borderline leading man who apparently enjoyed some level of stardom during a 30 or so film career. Judging by his appearance here, he\'s a good, functional actor, though he has the sort of face it\'s easy to forget. Which is probably why he was selected for this part, as he isn\'t asked to carry the film (he\'s off screen for about half the running time) and as an undercover agent he\'s naturally required to blend in with his new environment. He does that quite well.
The success of The House on 92nd Street set a whole new trend of film making for 20th Century Fox. For the rest of the forties, that studio had a lot of success with a certain kind of documentary/noir type film.
In The Street With No Name, Lloyd Nolan repeats his characterization of FBI inspector George Briggs. Briggs, who used an undercover operative in The House on 92nd Street, uses another one to track down a gang of thieves in the mythical Center City in midwest USA.
The undercover guy is Mark Stevens and the gang he finds an infiltrates is led by Richard Widmark in his second film. Widmark\'s not a psycho like he was in Kiss of Death, but he\'s just as mean and vicious.
Widmark also has a pipeline into the local police and a real cute gimmick in recruiting members for his gang. It\'s a race against time for Stevens to track down the informer before he\'s informed on. Director Bill Keighley keeps the suspense at a fever pitch in this one.
Keighley also has a good feel for the flavor of the seamy world of Center City where Widmark operates from. This is noir at it\'s best.
Fox was so encouraged by the success of films like THE HOUSE ON 92ND STREET, BOOMERANG and KISS OF DEATH, that it seemed only natural they would pursue this genre for many years during the \'40s. The outcome of this pursuit is a film like THE STREET WITH NO NAME.
New hot property RICHARD WIDMARK is given another chance to shine as a sneering villain who runs a gang the police are anxious to put out of business. They send a mole (MARK STEVENS) to infiltrate the mob and get the goods on Widmark--not unlike the situation in Cagney\'s WHITE HEAT.
While this one doesn\'t approach the finesse of Raoul Walsh\'s WHITE HEAT, it\'s a solidly entertaining piece of crime melodrama given punch by some good overall performances. Aside from Widmark and Stevens, the cast includes reliable Fox contract players BARBARA LAWRENCE, ED BEGLEY, DONALD BUKA, and JOHN McINTIRE.
Based on an actual FBI case, there\'s some narration in the manner of other Fox films in this genre. Upcoming MARK STEVENS has the most interesting role and does well with it. Stevens is a young actor who never got his full due at Fox, although he appeared in a number of strong films.
Summing up: Well worth seeing if you\'re a fan of film noir.