Sunday, April 25, 2010


Eddie Rice (John Payne) has all kinds of problems. First and foremost is he’s been in a military hospital in San Francisco for the last 5 years with total amnesia thanks to a hunk of metal he got stuck in his noodle back in the big WWII. The doctors have done all they can do, so, since he enlisted in Los Angeles, the military gives him a pat on the back and a train ticket to LA. He gets to LA and literally as he’s walking out of the train depot, the coppers pick him up and take him to the police station. There they inform him that he’s a gangster and not wanted in town. As he’s leaving the police station, the “only in movies” coincidences continue and who else but his wife sees him! Naturally, she calls the local kingpin and he and his men beat the crap out of Eddie and toss him down a fire escape! Being an idiot, none of this is enough to convince Eddie to leave town. No siree Bob. As soon as he wakes up on the fire escape (probably covered in pigeon poop and cat piss), Eddie starts a one-man war with the local gangsters. And by “war”, I mean Eddie getting knocked unconscious multiple more times.

I like THE CROOKED WAY. It's a watchable older noir with cool cinematography by John Alton, but the there just isn't enough story to properly fill the runtime and Eddie is way too dumb to have any sympathy for.