This super-low-budget thriller (1947) by Anthony Mann was the last production of the Producers Releasing Corporation, the poverty-row studio that provided a home (of sorts) to Edgar G. Ulmer and several other bargain-basement auteurs. It’s nice to know that PRC went out on an appropriately weird note: Mann’s film, about a young woman who hires a private detective (Hugh Beaumont of Leave It to Beaver fame) to clear her brother of a phony robbery charge, combines extreme violence with an attenuated, self-conscious humor that could only have been lost on the grind-house audiences the film was intended for. Mann went on to some truly distinguished work in the 50s—centrally, his westerns with James Stewart—but all of Mann’s early films display an infectious enthusiasm for the medium. With John Ireland.