Thieves' Highway (1949)

Thieves' Highway (1949), directed by Jules Dassin.

Richard Conte returns home from the sea to discover his father has been robbed and crippled by produce buyer Lee J. Cobb. Pursuing revenge, he gets into the trucking business with partner Millard Mitchell who knows the ins and outs. It's all very shady: the only other help comes from a prostitute hired to distract him, and we're never very sure about her.

Fine on location filming with realistic presentation of the trucks and drivers, the highways at night and the busy markets. Exciting runaway truck segment and a brutal climax with a moral coda to make it more Code-compliant.

Alfred Newman score.

Criterion DVD. A commentary track discusses the director's style, how it conforms to and varies from film noir methods, and describes differences between the film and the book, which sounds harder and more bleak.