Nerve-snapping suspense, gritty style and an unsparing look at racial tension unite this “thunderbolt of a film” (Los Angeles Examiner) from legendary director Robert Wise (The Set-Up, The Day the Earth Stood Still) and screenwriters Abraham Polonsky (Force of Evil) and Nelson Gidding (The Haunting), based on the novel by William P. McGivern (The Big Heat). Acting greats Harry Belafonte, Robert Ryan, Shelley Winters, Ed Begley and Gloria Grahame deliver superb performances in this taut and absorbing crime melodrama, often cited as the first film noir to feature a black protagonist. One hundred and fifty thousand dollars, ready for the taking. It’s too much to resist for bigoted ex-con Earl Slater (Ryan). He agrees to take part in a bank robbery with former cop Burke (Begley)—but hesitates when he finds out that one of his partners (Belafonte) is black. As tensions mount and the men get closer to their biggest score ever, Earl’s hatred erupts, resulting in violent consequences for the heist…and their lives.