Review: T-Men


T-Men is a B-movie film noir from 1947.  It’s told in a documentary-drama style story.  This movie is directed by Anthony Mann and showcased his talent.  It is filmed in a low light, classic film noir style that looks amazing.  Mann directed a few more film noir B movies and then moved on to westerns and eventually full on Hollywood historic epics.  Even though T-Men was a fairly low-budget film it got nominated for an Academy Award for Sound.  The movie was written by John C. Higgins and Virginia Kellogg both of which wrote many crime films in their career.

Dennis O’Keefe plays our main hero and undercover T-man.  He definitely had a good presence is this role and did many B-movies including a few more film-noirs, he also did a lot of television work, including having his own show for a while.   Wallace Ford plays The Schemer and that describes the character well.  He is always looking for an angle and scheming for his next score. Ford played the most interesting character in the film, in my opinion.  Alfred Ryder plays O’Keefe’s undercover partner and comes across as an average every-man that may be in over his head.

I could not find anything about the story behind this movie.  It plays as a true case from the Secret Service, but I can not find if it really is.  Anybody out there shed some light on this?  If these bad guys were real, they where both incredibly brutal and smart.

This story is about two T-men or I.R.S. Agents sent undercover to break up a counterfeit ring.  The ring seems to be based in Los Angles, but anytime anybody gets close to the root of the group it leads to a dead-end.  They trace some counterfeit stamps in Detroit that are from the same group.  Are hero’s are sent to Detroit to infiltrate the ring from there.  This is where are adventure takes off.

This movie isn’t the most interesting story or have many twists and turns to it, but if it is a true story that would make sense.  I would not put this noir in my top ten, but it is worth viewing for hardcore film noir fans.