- 1 hr 12 min
Railroaded is a crime drama film from 1947 directed by Anthony Mann, and starring John Ireland, Sheila Ryan, and Hugh Beaumont. The film is set in Los Angeles and revolves around a young woman named Clara Calhoun, played by Ryan, who is accused of a robbery and murder she did not commit. The film begins with a group of criminals led by a man named Duke Martin, played by Ireland, who are planning a robbery of a wealthy businessman's home. Along for the ride is Martin's girlfriend, Clara, who is not aware of the planned heist. While Martin and his accomplices carry out the robbery, Clara visits her sister who lives nearby. When Martin and his gang return to Clara's apartment, they discover that she has been followed by a police officer who suspects her of being involved in the robbery. In order to cover their tracks, Martin and his men frame Clara for the crime, and she is arrested and charged with robbery and murder. Detective Mickey Ferguson, played by Beaumont, is assigned to the case and begins to investigate the crime. Though he initially believes Clara to be guilty, he soon begins to suspect that she may have been set up by Martin and his gang. As he digs deeper into the case, Ferguson begins to unravel the complex web of lies and deceit that surround the robbery and the murder. Railroaded is a tense and suspenseful film that keeps the audience on the edge of their seats throughout. Anthony Mann's direction is tight and focused, and the film moves along at a brisk pace. The performances by the three leads are also excellent, with John Ireland delivering a compelling portrayal of the cunning and ruthless Duke Martin. One of the most interesting aspects of Railroaded is its exploration of the workings of the criminal justice system. The film depicts a system that is all too willing to assume guilt and impose harsh sentences without properly investigating the facts of the case. The film also highlights the importance of diligent and unbiased police work, as Detective Ferguson's determination to uncover the truth ultimately leads to Clara's exoneration. Railroaded also features some impressive cinematography, with Mann employing a range of striking visual techniques to create a sense of tension and unease. In one scene, for example, the camera follows Clara as she walks down a dark alleyway, her figure silhouetted against the stark black and white background. In another scene, the camera zooms in close on the face of one of the gang members as he realizes that the police are closing in on them. Overall, Railroaded is a well-crafted and engaging film that combines elements of both film noir and police procedural genres. Its exploration of the criminal justice system and its depiction of the struggle between good and evil make it a film that is as relevant today as it was when it was first released in 1947.