Railroaded! is a classic B-level noir from Anthony Mann. Combining the ridiculous and awesome with the sleaze that makes noir so appealing today, Railroaded! will change no one’s life but is well-worth an enjoyable watch. Two thugs rob the beauty shop/gambling parlor where one’s moll works. The other woman working screams, a cop comes and a shootout ensues. One of the gangsters and the cop are shot. The former survives long enough to frame Steve Ryan (Ed Kelly) for the crime, who he hates because Steve punched him for hitting on his sister. Steve’s a sap though; the real action is between his sister (Sheila Ryan), the sadistic and brutal gangster who doesn’t get shot (John Ireland), and an investigating cop (Hugh Beaumont!!!!). Ireland pretends to hit on Ryan; Beaumont really is hitting on her. That she’d be interested in the man who threatens to put her brother in the chair makes no sense, but who cares. The classic lines come rolling, the tension at the right time is appropriate, and eventually our sap gets off.
At 74 minutes, a film length that I would welcome more often today, Mann takes this script as far as it will go.
6/10. But a fun 6.