When I first watched this movie, I was only mildly interested in the first part which shows how hard life is for two trucker brothers (Raft and Bogart). Only when Ida Lupino is introduced as the off-kilter, man-killing Lana Carlson did I really sit up and take notice. She continued to steal all her scenes as she degenerates into madness after killing her buffoon of a husband for the cold Raft character. Her gradual breakdown is something to see and electrified audiences in l940. When she begins to shriek on the witness stand: "The doors made me do it!", you freeze in amazement at her powerful acting. Her "mad" scene was phenomenal. A note: compare her portrayal of the man-crazed heroine to the way Bette Davis portrayed her in the original, the l934 "Bordertown". Davis always bragged that the quiet way she went crazy on the stand was the right way but after seeing how Lupino did it, you'll think that Davis was wrong. Sorry, Bette, but Lupino did it a l00 times better and a hell of a lot more powerful. Lana Carlson--one mixed-up, crazy dame from Warner Brother's golden days--thanks to the genius of Ida Lupino!
This awesome classic starts out as a drama about the hard lives of truckers but ends up being a sort of film noir! Ann Sheridan was perfectly cast as a sassy independant woman, & I loved seeing George Raft & Humphrey Bogart playing brothers! And of course let's not forget Ida Lupino, one of the best (& craziest) femme fatales of all time! Also there's Alan Hale, who adds a whole lot of humor to the mix! I won't go into the plot b/c other reviews have fully explained the plot, but I will say that you definitely need to add this gem to your dvd collection! Be aware that the real star of the film is George Raft, despite the misleading cover art, which tries to cash in on Bogey's fame. This wasn't disappointing to me at all, though. I thought George Raft was cool! I highly recommend this to fans of great classics.