When a 1948 movie opens with a message crawl from J. Edgar Hoover, you can bet it’s going to be a love letter to the F.B.I. This week’s gangster-infested scumfest, The Street with No Name, tells how the Feds sent in one of their own to infiltrate a nasty gang and demobilize it — because, darn it, you know that’s what J. Edgar insisted upon!
When a crime wave blows through “Central City” (which looks suspiciously like Los Angeles), FBI Inspector Briggs (Lloyd Nolan) provides rookie agent Gene Cordell (Mark Stevens) with the new identity of “George Manly” (Note that last name!) and sends him undercover. Soon enough, “Manly” becomes part of Central City’s major gang, led by mastermind Alec Stiles. Don’t be fooled by that milquetoast name — we know right away that Alec Stiles must be bad, because he’s played by…
Looks like the FBI and George Manly have their hands full with this one!
On a scale of 1 to 5 fannies, I rate this movie a 4. This is good-guys-vs.-bad-guys played to the hilt, the “good” represented by a ripe-for-parody monotone narrator and frequent unsubtle nods to the virtue of the FBI, and the “bad” represented by gangsters spouting endless street slang, hoisting drinks, and packing rods. Did I mention that Richard Widmark is in this movie?