Lawyer Thomas Farrell has made a career defending crooks in trials. He has never realised that there is a downside to his success, until he meets the dancer Vicki Gayle. She makes him decide to get a better reputation. But mob king Rico Angelo insists that he continues his services.
A film that might be regarded as Nicholas Ray's farewell to Hollywood (if not commercial filmmaking), as well as his tribute to Chicago in 20s, this 1958 feature is also one of his most affecting love stories. An unlikely alliance between a crippled and crooked lawyer (Robert Taylor) and a dancing showgirl (Cyd Charisse), both of whom try to escape the power of a tyrannical mobster (Lee J. Cobb), forms the basis for a flamboyant poem in delirious color and scope that is treated with a mixture of violence and lyricism that is unique to Ray.