Synopsis by Bruce Eder
Broderick Crawford plays Johnny Damico, a detective who suddenly finds himself up to his neck in trouble and his career on the line. Going home in the rain one night, he finds himself just a few feet from a shooting on a dark street, where the gunman claims to be a detective from another precinct, flashing a real badge -- and then slipping away. Damico discovers that the victim of the shooting was a witness who was to have appeared before a grand jury investigating waterfront crime, and that the same man who shot him also murdered the chief investigator on the case just a few hours earlier (which is where the badge came from). Damico could lose his job, but instead he's given the chance to redeem himself -- he's sent undercover and given a new identity as New Orleans tough-guy Tim Flynn, who insinuates himself onto the New York waterfront when he arrives on ship. He manages to hook up with union thug Joe Castro (Ernest Borgnine) and his strong-arm man Gunner (Neville Brand), who try to frame him for a murder that also gets a potential stoolie out of the way and that hooks Damico up with crooked police sergeant Bennion. After following one blind alley involving a federal agent (Richard Kiley) working as a longshoreman, Damico manages to get an intro to Blackie Clegg (Matt Crowley), the man working behind Castro, Gunner, et al, who's as cool and slippery as they come and as sadistic as he is vengeful.
bad-guy, good-guy, criminal, police, undercover