Political operative Ed Beaumont (Alan Ladd) thought it was a mistake when his ward-heeler boss Paul Madvig (Brian Donlevy) threw his weight behind a reform candidate for senate. When the candidate's wastrel son turns up murdered, and Madvig is fingered for the crime, Beaumont has his toughest mess of all to clean up. Crackling take on Dashiell Hammett's tale of corruption co-stars Veronica Lake, William Bendix, Joseph Calleia, Bonita Granville. 85 min. Standard; Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital mono.