Andrews plays hard-boiled, hot-headed police detective Mark Dixon. After accidentally killing a murder suspect (Craig Stevens) during a typically harsh confrontation, Dixon makes the unscrupulous decision to cover up his mistake. Paine, as Dixon’s bad luck would have it, was a respected war hero. He tries to frame gangster Tommy Scalise for Paine’s death, but it’s cabbie Jiggs Taylor—Paine’s widow Morgan’s (Gene Tierney) father—who winds up a suspect. To say Dixon has created a real mess for himself is a grand understatement.
Preminger handles Dixon’s tangled web of lies with aplomb, no matter how coincidence-based Hecht’s screenplay becomes. Dixon falls in love with Morgan, which naturally spurs him to try even harder to clear her father’s name while also protecting his secret. It’s a pulpy feast for noir fans, with Andrews’ tough, uncompromising performance standing out as the highlight.
Celebrated cinematographer Joseph LaShelle lensed Where the Sidewalk Ends and Twilight Time’s Blu-ray gives his work the treatment it deserves. LaShelle, a nine-time Academy Award nominee (and one-time winner, for Preminger’s Laura), obviously knew very well how to make the most of black-and-white imagery. His evocative work is presented perfectly on this remarkably clean 1080p transfer.
Not too much to say about the crisp DTS-HD MA mono soundtrack, aside from the fact that it sounds great, especially for its age. The Cyril Mockridge score is offered as an isolated DTS-HD MA 2.0 soundtrack.
The main extra feature is film historian (and film noir expert) Eddie Muller’s audio commentary track. The film’s theatrical trailer is present as well (in standard definition).
Perhaps a minor entry in the filmography of Otto Preminger, Where the Sidewalk Ends is nonetheless an interesting film noir. Twilight Time’s limited Blu-ray release is available, while supplies last, via Screen Archives.