HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Harpoon
Great Northfield Minnesota Raid, The
Dark Phoenix
No Mercy
Arctic
Fate of Lee Khan, The
El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie
Ladyworld
Rocketman
Kid Who Would Be King, The
Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound
America America
Darkest Minds, The
Along Came Jones
Hummingbird Project, The
Under the Table You Must Go
Harry Birrell Presents Films of Love and War
Hanging Tree, The
Godzilla: King of the Monsters
Scooby-Doo! Camp Scare
Itsy Bitsy
Witchmaker, The
Prey, The
If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium
Happy Death Day 2U
Full Moon High
Strange But True
Kamikaze 1989
Never Grow Old
Time of Your Life, The
Mountain Men, The
Epic
Best Before Death
John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum
Isabelle
Non-Stop New York
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood
Oblomov
Alita: Battle Angel
We the Animals
   
 
Newest Articles
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
Shit-Eating Grim: Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom on Blu-ray
Stallone's 80s Action Alpha and Omega: Nighthawks and Lock Up
Python Prehistory: At Last the 1948 Show and Do Not Adjust Your Set on DVD
You Could Grow to Love This Place: Local Hero on Blu-ray
Anglo-American: Joseph Losey Blu-ray Double Bill - The Criminal and The Go-Between
Marvel's Least Loved and Most Loved: Fantastic 4 vs Avengers: Endgame
Battle of the Skeksis: The Dark Crystal Now and Then
American Madness: Sam Fuller's Shock Corridor and The Naked Kiss on Blu-ray
Flight of the Navigator and the 80s Futurekids
Trains and Training: The British Transport Films Collection Volume 13 on DVD
Holiday from Hell: In Bruges on Blu-ray
The Comedy Stylings of Kurt Russell: Used Cars and Captain Ron
Robot Rocked: The Avengers Cybernauts Trilogy on Blu-ray
Hammer's Bloodthirsty Bad Girls 1970: Lust for a Vampire and Countess Dracula
Hammer to Fall: Kiss Me Deadly on Blu-ray
Home of the Grave: The House That Dripped Blood and Asylum on Blu-ray
Wondrous Women: Supergirl vs Captain Marvel
   
 
  T-Men The Treasury Don't Mess AroundBuy this film here.
Year: 1947
Director: Anthony Mann
Stars: Dennis O'Keefe, Mary Meade, Alfred Ryder, Wallace Ford, June Lockhart, Charles McGraw, Jane Randolph, Art Smith, Herbert Heyes, Jack Overman, John Wengraf, Jim Bannon, William Malten
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: The T-Men are what is more officially known as the United States Treasury agents, that brave band who enforce the laws against counterfeiting, among other things, and here is a composite case to familiarise the audience with the kind of danger they routinely place themselves in. It was drawn from the so-called Shanghai Paper Case where it was suspected gangsters in Detroit were beginning to flood America with fake bills, so two agents, Dennis O'Brien (Dennis O'Keefe) and Tony Genaro (Alfred Ryder) were chosen to go undercover and infiltrate the gang to break it apart from within. To do so, they had to train hard, memorising pages of information, until they were ready...

Anthony Mann, before he made the tough Westerns in the nineteen-fifties that secured his name among film buffs, had already been generating a cult following in the previous decade thanks to his work in film noir, often in partnership with cinematographer John Alton whose innovations with making the best of lower budgets had crafted some of the most striking imagery in American B-movies. They operated so well together that many regard it as a pity it didn't happen more often, but Alton was a difficult man thanks to his perfectionism and eccentricity; he did however get on well with Mann, and they were planning to reunite in the sixties just before Mann passed away.

You can see why the director admired Alton, as once we have the dry opening narration from a Treasury official out of the way, we are plunged into a thriller scenario where a snitch is being traced for a meeting with an agent, but is gunned down in the dark side streets before he can give up his vital information. The crunching gear change between that dull first couple of minutes to when we are suddenly in some nightmare underworld of criminality is so arresting, so to speak, that it alerts you that no matter what the plot to this one may have been, it was worth sticking around simply to slowly drink in the rich atmosphere and appreciate those exquisitely manufactured visuals.

T-Men looks like perfect pulp cinema - looks like it, but does not necessarily play out that way, though it was notable for a total lack of sentimentality. This left you under no illusions that the crime syndicates threatening the fabric of American society had no qualms about turning to murder to protect their interests, and a late on development was still pretty surprising for those who thought old movies were corny and safe. O'Keefe was a decent match for this material, as he could move his persona between easygoing charmer and an outright tough guy: it was the latter he was asked to perform here, doubly so as his undercover pose requires him to convince some very unpleasant men that he can be just as savage as they are. Not only that, but he has to visit every Turkish bath in California.

Well, it seems that way anyway, but there was some ever so slightly camp interest in seeing Agent O'Brien having to don a tiny towel and sit about in steam rooms simply to identify the "Schemer" who sports a scar on their shoulder, and as luck would have it this man happens to attend the baths where said scar can be easily seen, assuming O'Brien has the right location. This Schemer (his character name) was played by Wallace Ford, an actor who suffered mightily in his upbringing but usually played the sort of roles O'Keefe was getting - yet Ford was now into his middle age, and a homelier appearance had well-settled onto his frame and features. There were other familiar faces to vintage cinema fans, though Lost in Space's June Lockhart was probably the most, here playing Genaro's wife whose meeting with him is unexpectedly haunting. Adopting the then-novel approach of a police procedural, with no-nonsense narration to boot, T-Men may have looked better than it played, but as a tough, uncompromising thriller it did its job. Music by Paul Sawtell.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 342 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: