Directed by Anthony Mann
Starring Dennis O’Keefe, Mary Meade, Alfred Ryder, Wallace Ford, June Lockhart, Charles McGraw, Frank Ferguson
I’m so glad Classicflix is spiffing up Anthony Mann’s T-Men (1947) for Blu-Ray. It’s one of the most visually striking pictures of the 40s, thanks to the great John Alton. I can’t wait to see his shadows in high definition.
Dennis O’Keefe and Alfred Ryder are treasury agents trying to bust up a counterfeit ring, and they end up trying to infiltrate the Detroit mob. Mann gets things to a full boil almost immediately, and we spend the rest of the hour and a half wondering when it’s all gonna blow apart — and how little of the cast will still be alive.
Anthony Mann: “This is what I really call my first film. I was responsible for its story, for its structure, its characters and for actually making it. This was my first real break towards being able to make films the way I wanted.”
Mann and Alton’s use of LA and Detroit locations and their overall documentary-style treatment really add to the realism and tension of the whole thing. Oh, and did I mention it’s got Charles McGraw, Wallace Ford and Frank Ferguson in it? This movie’s absolutely essential.