This movie is noir, but with a little more edge than the classic LA set Chandleresque noirs that are the usual Noir benchmark. This film is set in New York and because of it the pace is less laid back than typical Noirs, but its setting and its story captures the dark essence perfectly. The Odets screenplay is cynical, worldly and downright memorable, it oozes cool.
The shadowy dark b&w photography suits the mood of the picture perfectly and the finest performance of Tony Curtis' career just falls out of him as if he knows that sort of character so well. It doesn't aim too high in movie terms, it just deals with its tight little story, while saying a lot about the world the main characters inhabit and then finishes without too much of a bang. It is neat, classical noir delivered beautifully. Moody yet cool.
Unfornunately its modest run time, lack of murders, an uncommonly good year for big movies and Hollywood's obsession with bigger showier movies meant it got no Oscar. It didn't even get a single nom, which is just bizarre as you can't watch this and say it's not a brilliantly realised film, for any era. In fact it is a stylistic gem and a true unheralded classic. The sharp acting and screenplay and the buzzing New York vibe make sure of that.