A Mike Hammer mystery directed by Robert Aldrich. Very noir. Very cheaply done. The anti-hero violence might have seemed over the top by 1955 standards, but by now we’ve all seen lots worse.

Gripping opening and notable for what is NOT shown in the torture scene: a woman’s bare legs seen from the knees down as she screams; then the screams stop; then two men in suits are shown from the waist down, discussing her; one is holding a pair of pliers.

Over all, kind of dull, but with one of the coolest maguffins ever (the inspiration for the contents of Marsellus Wallace’s attache case in Pulp Fiction).

FF= 2.5

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