The Street with No Name William Keighley

The FBI would like your cooperation with this review. It appears as though crime is running rampant and infiltration of its ranks is necessary, meaning one of the Feds' sharpest cookies (Mark Stevens) is about to be sent into danger. He must slip into the gang of an up-and-coming crime boss (Richard Widmark) who is connected to a couple of murders. He must gain the kingpin's trust, find his connections to a corrupt law officer and drag the operation out into the light of day. So committed is this agent to his mission that he will show no sign of personality beyond being a Fed. So committed are we to recounting that mission that we will squeeze out any extraneous bit of detail, like vivid characters, strong atmosphere or anything that resembles a sense of humour. This is perhaps to be expected, as our story is in a docu-noir style that was highly novel at the time, but despite our general technical proficiency, our resulting film will be as rich and flavourful as dry toast and Alka-Seltzer. We will protest that it's not a dishonourable film and we'll largely be right, but careful examination of the facts will find only Widmark's livewire performance to be a standout in a generally square do-gooders movie. A quote from J. Edgar Hoover will run at the beginning of the film, at a time in history when you could do that without causing audience hilarity. Agents James Ursini and Alain Silver lend their scholarly expertise to a feature length commentary; it squeezes an astounding amount of fascinating background information out of a heretofore unremarkable film. It's so good that it actually outshines the feature. (Fox)