There was a time before cell phones, the internet, or even network television. Information was found only through books, newspapers, radio, or face to face encounters. The latter often involved traveling to ask specific questions; the answers to which form the basis for another round of questions. Each answer may take the form of a knife-blade or a bullet, an excellent reason to cast Lorre and Greenstreet as the - well..., neither can really be considered heroes, right? In fact, not a single character of this noir flick could be considered a luminary role model. This is the epitome of its genre.