In making the transition from radio-TV to the big screen and color, this is spotty in entertainment results. As on TV quite a bit is made of the long, tedious toil of thorough police methods. This can be kept in hand in a 30-minute period, but when that time is tripled the pace is bound to slow to a walk often.
Under Jack Webb’s direction the film gets off on its melodramatic path with a brutal murder. Thereafter, the homicide and intelligence divisions of the LA Police Dept start a widespread hunt for evidence that will pin the killing on some redhot suspects.
Webb’s direction of the screenplay is mostly a good job. He stages a four-man fight in which he and his police sidekick (Ben Alexander) are involved, rather poorly and it may invoke unwelcome laughs. Otherwise, when sticking to terse handling of facts, or in building honest emotion, such as in the splendidly-done drunk scene by Virginia Gregg, grieving widow of the murdered hood, he brings his show off satisfactorily.