A double-barreled gangster film, The Street with No Name ranks at the top of the list of documentary-type productions which have been rolling out of the 20th-Fox lot. This pic has a lean, tough surface wrapped around a nucleus of explosive violence. Beneath its documentary exterior there lies a straight melodrama that harks back to the great gangster films of the early 1930s.
Richard Widmark, who twitched his way to stardom with his performance in Kiss of Death, is the backbone of this film. As the leader of a gang of youngsters who operate with military science, Widmark commands complete interest with his interpretation of a psychotically ruthless character. His looks and personality have the latent menace of a loaded automatic.
In neat contrast to Widmark, Mark Stevens plays the role of an all-American boy who, as an agent of the FBI, becomes a gang member. His efforts to collect the evidence for the police while exposing himself to the fate of a stoolpigeon provide the basis for the plot structure and tension.
Along a continuous line of fresh details, film includes a crackerjack fight sequence between Stevens and a professional pug, a glimpse into the FBI machinery, and a slambang finale in which the cops and the hoodlums shoot it out in an industrial plant.
In a secondary role, Lloyd Nolan, playing the same Inspector Briggs of the FBI of The House on 92nd Street, delivers with his usual competence.