HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
For the Sake of Vicious
Hell Bent
Straight Shooting
Jules Verne's Rocket to the Moon
Man They Could Not Hang, The
Final Days
Frightened City, The
Assimilate
Sequin in a Blue Room
Common Crime, A
Into the Labyrinth
Power, The
Wake of Death
Night Orchid
Mortal
Iron Mask, The
Dinosaur
Personal History of David Copperfield, The
Dove, The
Collective
Charulata
Minari
Violation
Defending Your Life
Champagne Murders, The
He Dreams of Giants
Lost in America
Take Back
Honeydew
Banishing, The
Drifters, The
Gushing Prayer
Escape from Coral Cove
Swan Princess, The
Shortcut
Stray
Butterfly Murders, The
Pimp
Feedback
Lady is a Square, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
   
 
  T-Men The Treasury Don't Mess Around
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, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
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 895 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 probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
Stately Wayne Manor
   

 

Last Updated: