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Working-class dreamers Jonah (Thomas Mitchell) and Olaf (John Qualen) fish the Brooklyn waters and ponder their glorious plan: buy a big boat and head for sunny Cuba. Then an amoral gangster (John Garfield) puts the squeeze on the few bucks they've saved and puts the moves on Jonah's daughter (Ida Lupino), a restless good girl who'd just as soon be bad. And the two friends, the two gentle souls, begin a new plan: murder.

Garfield inhabits his role with the amiable cruelty of a top rodent in a rat-eat-rat world, dominating this early-noir gem based on an Irwin Shaw play originally produced by Garfield's Group Theatre colleagues. On screen it's polished diamond hard by trenchant performances, Anatole Litvak's sure-handed direction and moody cinematography by the great James Wong Howe.

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