In the tradition of such big-budget "docudramas" as House on 92nd Street and Call Northside 777, the modestly budgeted C-Man adopts a quasi-documentary approach to its subject matter. The "C" stands for Customs, and indeed the leading character, Cliff Holden (Dean Jagger), is a detective for the U.S. Customs Department. Against a backdrop of genuine New York locations (with a few rather obvious back-projected shots thrown in), Holden puts the heat on a homicidal jewelry smuggler. John Carradine steals the show as an alcoholic doctor, reduced to fronting for the smugglers. The rest of the cast is populated with such Broadway regulars as Edith Atwater and Walter Brooke. Though it obviously cost next to nothing to produce, C-Man is far more atmospheric and suspenseful than many a major-studio effort.
by Hal Erickson synopsis