Insurance detective unravels the killing of a washed-up boxer.
– Steve H. Scheuer, Movies on TV and Video.
One of my favorite films noir. Burt Lancaster plays the former-boxer turned hoodlum with elegance and style, and Ava Gardner is hot as the femme fatale. A brilliant narrative technique by director Robert Siodmak, employing flash-backs and the story of an insurance investigation to hold it all together, produces a taut and entertaining movie.
Like most great noirs, this picture transcends the genre and is not only a story of greed, love, and betrayal, but is also about loss, friendship, innocence, and the brutal realities of trying to make a buck in a hostile world. There is a wider socio-historical context, which is more than ably discussed by Jim Groom in a recent post on his BavaTuesday blog.