When this movie started, with an amazing credit sequence of juvenile street violence and the words "and introducing John Cassavetes", I got excited. The excitement wore off fast. Amazingly, Cassavetes is one of the film's biggest problems. At age 27 (and looking 40), he's far too old to play 18 convincingly. Worse than that is his overblown performance, as if he were trying to earn some extra credit at the James Dean College of Intense Brooding. Either that or the Richard Widmark School of Psychotic Outbursts. The city block sets look especially cheap, and the film feels dated, more so than most noirs. The story was originally produced for television, and you can definitely tell. It's a lot of moralistic hand-wringing over the fate of our children, with very little nuance. There's a few interesting moments, Sal Mineo and Mark Rydell are terrific as Cassavetes' sidekicks, the Franz Waxman score is exciting, and the cinematography is quite good. Unfortunately, it's still a dud, and shows little of the Don Siegel greatness that would make The Lineup so special a couple of years down the road.