Ambitious B-movie from director John Farrow at RKO uses star Victor McLaglen in a way that feels very Gypo Nolan ... McLaglen's character in this a little too carefree about killing a cop for audience to really get behind him ... Barry Fitzgerald's nightwatchman pegged for the murder committed with his gun ... McLaglen arrested on comparatively minor burglary charge, attempting to steal coat for girlfriend played by Sally Eilers ... Joseph Calleia is the local priest, who visits McLaglen in jail, and calls on Fitzgerald's family regularly ... I'm used to seeing Calleia playing mobsters, crooks, and killers, so was surprised at how effective he was here ... Calleia so soft-spoken that he really makes you hang on his every word ... Calleia works to get McLaglen paroled, but isn't successful until after McLaglen's suffers near-mortal injury that leads to a full confession from what he supposes is his death bed ... With McLaglen free, and innocent man Fitzgerald facing the death penalty, Calleia begins to haunt McLaglen ... Quietly he's around every corner ... favorite scene comes when Calleia begins smashing Eilers' prized new set of ten cups, comparing them to all of the Commandments that McLaglen has shattered ... some surprises as the climax unfolds, but it all leads where expected ... McLaglen isn't always an actor I always like, but Farrow gets the best out of him, even if his character seems a bit more despicable than intended .... quality work from all four leads, especially Calleia, and the director ... my IMDb rating: 6/10.
Lightning reviews are first impressions of movies I've yet to research for more detailed articles. Unlike my more polished full reviews there is little to no research here; sparse images and links; a more relaxed writing style. These are movies I'd love to eventually cover with a more fully developed article, but until time permits, here's the short version: