After completing a semi~successful prison break, Ralph Cotter, the surviving escapee, decides he's going to put to good use his criminal know how and take what he wants from the city he's hiding in.
At first this appears like it might be a rather tall order, with the underbelly of the city home to some very dog eat dog characters, but as he begins to take more risks, things begin to pay off.
However as his lust for power, selfishness and psychotic reasoning, further alienate those closest to him, it is not long before his past actions start to take their toll, with an ever increasing danger...
I'd never seen this before I don't think, and on that basis, I'm gonna say that this is a slightly lesser known but nevertheless top drawer Cagney movie, up there with some of his best gangster stuff (Roaring Twenties, White Heat, The Public Enemy, Angels With Dirty Faces etc etc). It's quite a violent film for 1950, with Cagney's villain acting on his vicious impulses time and time again, dominating and using those around him, as he chances his way to the top.
And although I am no psychiatrist, I suspect that if you were to take the term 'psychopath' in it's true sense or medical definition, Cagney probably nails it with his character here perfectly!
The support cast are very decent too, with several of them ideal for their roles. Ward Bond as the corrupt police inspector, is just great.
Of course some of the character actions seem a little dated, with Cagney's single bed wedding night, a prime example.
But for all it's odd moments of unrealistic plotting or character behaviour, by the end of the film (and I'm trying hard not to give anything away here!), I was that engrossed, that I think I issued an audible sigh of relief when 'that revolver' actually worked..
The Cornerstone Media print is certainly watchable, a little soft here and there, with the occasional green tinge, but generally speaking no major problems.