|this movie was also released as "Baby Face Killers" which makes no sense and is hilarious|
Director: Don Siegel
I'd see this one before, one of the films from The Filmmakers, the producing company founded by Ida Lupino and her husband at the time. Lupino had co-written the film, and co-stars in what I find an interesting role as a down-on-her-luck lounge singer who happens to be a witness valuable to two detectives (Steve Cochrane and Howard Duff) as they seek a murderer who has fled to LA and is now passing bills known to have been stolen in a murder/ robbery.
It's a cheaper film, so it's smaller and occasionally falls into the trap of letting scenes linger on so we can make the necessary 80 minute feature run-time. And there's a whole scene at the beginning that seems like a favor to Steve Cochrane so he can tear apart a set and do some cool action sequence stuff (there's not a ton of action, otherwise).
But, I do like the set-up quite a bit. Cochrane as the morally-shakey cop, Huff as the cop with a wife (Dorothy Malone in platinum hair) and kid who wants to be the one with the straight moral compass - who are assigned to track down the mysterious NY criminals. Along the way they meet Lupino and eventually track down the criminal - and all that cash.
Cochrane believes he needs money if he's going to keep Lupino, and Huff... is conflicted. If the movie has a slow mid-section, it has some great moments of punctuation.
Anyway, it's got some pure noir baked in, and something of an accidental femme fatale.