Rocky and Dan, war buddies, are prowl car cops on night duty. Dan is a cynic who views all lawbreakers as scum; Rocky feels more lenient. Both are attracted to the radio voice of communicator Kate Mallory; but in person, Kate proves reluctant to get involved with men who just might stop a bullet. By lucky chance, Rocky and Dan cause big trouble for murderous racketeer Ritchie Garris; but when he swears vengeance, Kate's fears may prove justified.Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
While the city is never identified, the police badges and numbered streets are similar to those used or located in New York City. However, the dispatcher says "KMA 367" over the radio. This FCC call sign was and is registered to the Los Angeles Police Department, and is valid through the year 2025. See more »
Rocky and Dan leave Romano's in a 1949 Ford squad car, but when they arrive at the night club, they are driving a pre-war junker. See more »
The opening scenes suggest this will be a tough-minded buddy picture, with the great Eddie O'Brien and a good-natured Mark Stevens playing the two prowl car cops. Fortunately, this buddy part is convincing. Add some jarring action scenes from much underrated Director Gordon Douglas, and there's considerable to recommend. Trouble is the later romantic parts shift the mood into none-to-convincing light-hearted comedy. To me, the shifts are noticeable, weakening the movie as a whole. Plus, I'm inclined to think Gale Storm is miscast as a police dispatcher, much too malt shop and glowing. Maybe it's the My Little Margie factor, for which she was perfect.
Nonetheless, there are a number of nice touches, such as the funny looking little boy, some good snappy lines, along with songbird Gale Robbins to add atmosphere. All in all, the 90-minutes doesn't fit easily into any category. It's mostly a crime drama, yet lacks the moral ambiguity of true noir. Still, any chance to catch Eddie O'Brien, one of Hollywood's best actors, makes the movie worthwhile, along with the great action scenes.
(In passing—can't help noticing the similarity of this 1950 screenplay to 1952's The Turning Point. And that's down to even O'Brien as the luckier of the two buddies, William Holden being the other buddy. I wonder: could it be that Hollywood would actually recycle a plot just two years later—then again, do mosquitoes bite.)
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