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MARK STEVENS & RICHARD WIDMARK 'THE STREET WITH NO NAME'

Title: THE STREET WITH NO NAME Year: 1947 Rating: ****1/2

Like James Cagney's more popular G-MEN, this dusty gem begins as sort of an FBI propaganda film, showing the inner workings of the department with a monotone "facts only" narration, yet soon enough it settles darkly into a mean, lean mobster flick as we follow agent Mark Stevens undercover along the titular urban street...

Stevens as Gene Cordell, going by the bogus name of George Manly, then coasts into a boxing syndicate led by the dependably-vile Noir favorite Richard Widmark as Alec Stiles, who has solo time on screen, becoming an equal match of mobster verses undercover agent...

Joseph Pevney with Mark Stevens & Donald Buka in THE STREET WITH NO NAME

Although Steven's Manly is a bit too square-jawed and cop-looking to realistically pass as a thug, he's one helluva boxer and one particular fight sequence is fast and ferocious, earning him a place within the den of thieves.

Sublimely filmed and acted, this is an underrated Fox Film Noir with suspense that never lets up: both for Widmark, as he tries figuring out who the plant is, and the audience, anticipating what will become of our hero when he does...

Donald Buka in THE STREET WITH NO NAME

And while Widmark's Stiles isn't as endearingly vile as his sinister giggling KISS OF DEATH icon Tommy Udo, he's more of a blunt bottom line: a short fuse with his lackey goons and an exploding bomb to a discontented trophy wife.

A standout of the thugs is a short knife-wielding Donald Buka (top picture) as Shivvy: in one scene he tales Stevens through the shadowy night and then, later on, meets him inside the cheap motel room with a veiled threat, asserting himself as an edgier menace than even Widmark: one of those rare crime flicks where the henchman's not only tougher, as per usual, but is actually smarter than the boss himself.

Donald Buka in THE STREET WITH NO NAME
Mark Stevens in THE STREET WITH NO NAME
Mark Stevens in THE STREET WITH NO NAME with Joseph Pevney and Donald Buka
Richard Widmark in THE STREET WITH NO NAME with Barbra Lawrence
Richard Widmark in THE STREET WITH NO NAME
Mark Stevens in THE STREET WITH NO NAME
Mark Stevens in THE STREET WITH NO NAME
Richard Widmark in THE STREET WITH NO NAME
Richard Widmark in THE STREET WITH NO NAME with Joseph Pevney
Goodfellas paid homage to this scene from The Street With No Name
Mark Stevens and Donald Buka in THE STREET WITH NO NAME
Donald Buka in THE STREET WITH NO NAME
Mark Stevens in THE STREET WITH NO NAME

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