Here is a low budget yet artistic film from Frank Borzage. I will be honest that I had never heard of Borzage before a year or two ago and he seems to have lost some of the respect he had early on in the 20th century. The same can be said for his stars Dane Clark and Gail Russell who are unknowns to most unless you hailed from those times. I was saddened to find Russell struggled with alcoholism which contrasts with the surprisingly hopeful ending of this melodramatic noir.
Ultimately, Danny Hawkins (Clark) was able to let go of all his hatred and accept justice. Instead of throwing away his life he got the girl and came to terms with reality.
Perhaps the most striking moment of this film was the highly stylized and dark opening showing the hanging of Danny’s father and his early childhood afterwards. In only a few minutes Borzage told us so much about Danny. Thus, during the entire films those images stuck with us and we could still feel a sense of empathy for him.
Despite there small parts, I was excited to see Lloyd Bridges, a young Harry Morgan, and Harry Carey Jr. All in all this was an interesting film and it causes me to want to see more from Borzage.