In this top-notch moody crime melodrama of the kind so popular in the mid-1940s, Lancaster and Douglas are rum-running partners during the bootleg era. While driving a load of illegal hootch they find their way blocked by a police barricade. They decide to split up, one running on foot, the
other driving the truck, making an on-the-spot agreement that whichever one escapes will keep their nightclub going and put aside half the profits for the other. Lancaster is caught and Douglas remains free. After serving a 14-year prison term, Lancaster, embittered and seeking revenge, is
released. He immediately heads for the big city and the posh nightclub owned by Douglas. An affable, wealthy Douglas greets his former partner Lancaster, sweet-talking him into waiting until Douglas' accountant, Corey, can determine a cash settlement. Meanwhile, Douglas sends his girl friend and
club singer Scott to placate the seething Lancaster. The two fall in love, which vexes the cool Douglas, but he takes his villainous revenge through the meek-mannered accountant, who explains to a perplexed Lancaster that the profits from the old club were eaten up through bonds, mergers, and
involved financial investments, and that this labyrinthine corporate structure Douglas now controls will show no profit for Lancaster. As an old-fashioned gangster without any understanding of such intricate financial dealings, Lancaster tries to force Douglas to pay him off and gets the beating
of his life from goon Mazurki. At Scott's urging, however, Corey finds the courage to stand up to shrewd Douglas, and is about to expose the fraudulent books to Lancaster when Douglas has the accountant murdered. Ultimately, Lancaster sets up a trap whereby Douglas admits his crimes and is ruined,
and Lancaster plans to go into a legitimate business with songbird Scott at his side. The plot is a bit busy but the performances are solid, even though Douglas seems to be doing a reprise of his role in OUT OF THE PAST (1947) as a cruel, unfeeling villain. Songs: "Don't Call It Love" (Ned
Washington, Allie Wrubel), "Isn't It Romantic" (Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart), "My Ideal" (Leon Robin, Richard A. Whiting, J. Newell Chase), "It's Easy to Remember" (Rodgers, Hart), "Two Sleepy People" (Frank Loesser, Hoagy Carmichael), "Heart and Soul" (Loesser, Carmichael), "I'm Yours" (E.Y.
Harburg, Johnny Green), "You Leave Me Breathless" (Fred Hollander, Ralph Freed, performed by the Regency Three).
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