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Four-time Academy Award winner Fred Zinneman makes his feature film directorial debut in this "taut and suspenseful" police procedural starring Oscar Winner Van Heflin in his first leading role. When ambitious attorney Jerry Ladimer (Lee Bowman) makes a deal with a gangster for future political favors, his first order of business is to kill the DA, a reformer who vowed to wipe out the rackets. Appointed special prosecutor, Ladimer keeps tabs on forensic scientist Gordon McKay (Heflin), whose crime lab gathers the clues. So when the mayor (Samuel S. Hinds) begins to suspect the truth and is murdered before he can act, McKay digs up evidence that will lead to the lawyer, unless Ladimer can rub him out first.
Ava Gardner stars as an uncredited carhop.