Disturbing, grim film noir directed by Anthony Mann and starring John Ireland as a psychopathic killer who ritualistically dips his bullets in perfume and lovingly strokes his handgun while cleaning it. The story involves the investigation of the robbery of a beauty shop that was really a
front for a gambling den. In the robbery, a policeman is killed, and one of the robbers (Brasselle) is apprehended. Under pressure from the police to name names, he implicates his friend Steve (Kelly), who is innocent of any involvement in the crime. Steve's sister, Rosa (Ryan), begs police
detective Ferguson (Beaumont) to reinvestigate the case because she is convinced her brother is innocent. Unfortunately, Ferguson and Rosa are frustrated in their attempts to track down witnesses to the crime because the real killer has gotten to them first and murdered them. Though its plot is
fairly simple, RAILROADED is notable for Ireland's unrelentingly macabre portrayal of a sick, sexually perverted maniac who gets his thrills from guns, a portrayal that must have just barely made it past the censors in 1947. Anthony Mann's direction is superbly atmospheric and makes great use of
the noir urban landscape, a visual style he would later bring to new heights in his excellent series of westerns starring Jimmy Stewart (WINCHESTER '73; BEND OF THE RIVER; THE NAKED SPUR; THE FAR COUNTRY; THE MAN FROM LARAMIE).
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