I'm surprised this isn't typically up there with the best film noir of all time. Preminger tells the story in a great way, but I also really enjoyed following Dixon's character. He's dark. Dixon tries to be good and wants to put the bad guys away, but instead he's violent and sloppy. I was worried with this being a less-talked about film noir that the issue would be that Dixon has these tendencies just to make the film more interesting. Nope. But I'll get to that later. Dixon has been demoted because of his recent shenanigans, but that doesn't stop him when a new murder occurs and he knows who did it. If he breaks the rules just once more he can prove that Scalise did it and lock him up once and for all. He makes his way over to Paine's apartment to see what he has to say about his buddy, Morrison, who had been stabbed earlier that night. The only problem is that Paine doesn't like cops. Dixon tries to get Paine to talk, but instead causes a fight. When he hits him in the head in self-defense he accidentally kills him. This could be the end of Dixon's career, so he tries to cover up his accident. It's actually a pretty smart coverup. He goes out dressed as Paine then takes a taxi, hoping the old woman downstairs will see him leave. Then when he doesn't come back she will be the alibi that he left and then he can fram Scalise for being able to whack him during that time. Only one problem: Paine died because of metal in his skull that was placed there after the war. They knew he died by an accidental punch in the head, not by drowning. Because of this they think that Morgan's father is the murderer for getting angry and punching him after he finds out that Paine beat his daughter. This isn't how Dixon wanted things to go. He has fallen in love with Morgan. In fact, he seems to find a new desire for life. This is when he accepts that his father was a thief back in the day and he doesn't have to be like him. I really enjoyed getting to slowly discover who Dixon was beneath his rough exterior. Sure he hates criminals, but why can't he just lock them away for their crimes? Why go out and beat them up and cause trouble? It's all due to his father. Then there's the undertones of regret from the war. Much of the film's about regret. Morgan's regret for even hanging around Paine after she knows he has turned drunk and violent. I found her father to be quite a sad character. He's a taxi driver, but he always tells stories of meeting famous people in his taxi, and when there was one exciting moment with a cop getting in his car and he drove him around it became the greatest moment of his life. He tells an exaggerated version of the story. He lives a simple life, so when he's framed for the murder you can't help but feel bad for the guy and understand Dixon puts himself on the line because of more than just love. The ending was a little too easy. He killed Paine, but Morgan's totally fine with it and says it was just a mistake. Sure, she hated the guy because of his violence, but there was also some kind of love there that was lost. He changed because of the war and she understands this, which is why she gives him chances. For her to be like "it's okay" was just ridiculous. That would be like Samuel Spade forgiving Brigid at the end of The Maltese Falcon. But that's not enough to ruin the film. Turn it off right after he decides to make the chief read his letter and you still have a really solid film.