Excellent noir. The cinematography is classic noir, with assured useage of shadow and light, foreground and background and tight close-ups. The action is gritty and realistic, with the slapping around looking positively brutal and much more frightening than the current movie industry standard of blood splattered gore fests. Mr Elam, in fact, was probably cast because of how pathetic he looked being beaten up! The story revolves around two set-ups, one intended and one a secondary effect. "This is America?" my husband queried as our innocent hero is "worked over" in the Kansas City jailhouse. The action moves south to Mexico where our hero pursues the true criminals in order to clear his name. The extent of the crime and the reasons for it as well as the set up are all eventually revealed in the small Mexican fishing village that is too small to hold all these hot tempered men. The pace slows down noticeably in the village, the only major flaw in this otherwise crackerjack film noir which must have influenced every current young urban crime-film director. Highly recommended.