Utilizing liberal flashbacks, the film [from the novel by Don Tracy] unreels the relentless, unswerving devotion of Burt Lancaster for his divorced wife (Yvonne De Carlo). Basically he’s an honest guy in contrast to the shaky character of his ex-spouse, who has become the moll of bigtime crook Dan Duryea.
Caught in a rendezvous with his old flame by Duryea, Lancaster fends off the jealousy of his rival by suggesting the group pull off an armored car holdup. As the driver of the payroll truck, he’ll secretly work with the crooks.
Under Robert Siodmak’s knowing directiion, the flashbacks blend into a cohesive unit and are never confusing or draggy. His staging of the holdup scene is a masterful job.
Lancaster’s role is a made-to-order part of a two-fisted square-shooter who gets fouled up in a jam through no fault of his own.