Down Three Dark Streets (1954): Arnold Laven’s Crime Noir, Starring Broderick Crawford, Ruth Roman, Martha Hyer

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Arnold Laven directed Down Three Dark Streets, a B-level crime film noir, starring Broderick Crawford, Ruth Roman, and Martha Hyer.

Down Three Dark Streets
Down Three Dark Streets FilmPoster.jpeg

The screenplay was written by Gordon Gordon and Mildred Gordon, based on their novel Case File FBI.J. Edgar Hoover objected to early drafts of the script.

FBI agent John Ripley investigates the three cases his murdered partner Zack Stewart was working on, thinking that one of them may reveal the identity of Stewart’s murderer.

One involves wanted fugitive Joe Walpo, who has killed gas-station attendant. Another concerns a department store fashion buyer, Kate Martell, who is being extorted by a man threatening to kill her daughter. A third has to do with a gang of thugs who hijack cars.

Ripley and his new partner trail Connie Anderson, a girlfriend of Walpo’s, to his hideout, where Ripley shoots him.

They follow Kate to the “Hollywood” sign in the hills above Los Angeles, where she has been told to bring the money. The extortionist is revealed to be a man named Milson who had shown a romantic interest in Kate, leading to confrontation with Ripley.

Broderick Crawford as FBI Agent John Ripley
Ruth Roman as Kate Martell
Martha Hyer as Connie Anderson
Marisa Pavan as Julie Angelino
Max Showalter as Dave Milson (as Casey Adams)
Kenneth Tobey Zack Stewart
Gene Reynolds as Vince Angelino
William Johnstone as Frank Pace
Harlan Warde as Greg Barker
Jay Adler as Uncle Max
Claude Akins as Matty Pavelich
Suzanne Alexander as Brenda Ralles
Myra Marsh as Mrs. Domes
Joe Basselt as Joe Walpo


Directed by Arnold Laven
Screenplay by the Gordons, Bernard C. Schonefeld
Based on novel Case File FBI
Produced by Arthur Gardner, Jules V. Levy, Edward Small (executive)
Cinematography Joseph F. Biroc
Edited by Grant Whytock
Music by Paul Sawtell

Production company: Edward Small Productions

Distributed by United Artists

Release date: September 3, 1954

Running time: 85 minutes


TCM showed the movie on February 3, 2022.