Outside the Wall

It is indeed a strange story, as announced at the beginning and laughingly denied by Bosley Crowther of the New York Times, who found only a rogue falling back into crime after fifteen years in prison, “not very rare.”

A con from the age of fourteen, pardoned for a death by misadventure, knowing nothing about life but what he’s learned inside, nothing about women.

He meets a few, takes a job at a TB sanitarium, meets a nurse, helps minister to another ex-convict on the lam after a huge armored-car robbery, serves as a messenger to the patient’s ex-wife, she’s in with a gang that wants the dough.

Our boy meets another nurse who’s strictly on the level.

So the gang puts the snatch on the patient and the nurse, our boy strings along as another culprit in the robbery, gets the cops in and nearly doesn’t get exonerated, it’s the furious construction of this final scene putting everything in order that makes the picture, or else the young con having his first drink (she tries to roll him, and calls him a “hick”), shyly working for a Fezziwig with a healthy waitress at a roadside diner (and stopping a holdup with his bare knuckles, he knows these guys, their type), tramping along a country road, etc.