With 1947's Desperate, a disturbing, noirish twist on traditional moral values, responsibility, and guilt, director Anthony Mann entered the ranks of class-A directors, though he'd still have to spend a few more years in "B" pictures. In his first important role, Steve Brodie plays newlywed trucker Steve Randall, who finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time during a fur robbery. Kidnapping Steve, the criminals, led by Walt Radak (Raymond Burr), threaten to mutilate Mrs. Randall (Audrey Long) unless Steve confesses to a murder committed by Radak's brother during the theft. Pretending to play along with the villains, Steve manages to escape with his wife in tow. The rest of the film is a prolonged chase, with the Randalls pursued by both the crooks and the cops. A surprise ending caps this film noir mini-classic, which is best appreciated when not seen in its computer-colorized version.
by Hal Erickson synopsis