Based on Horace McCoy's classic thriller, this film was Jimmy Cagney's followup to the classic White Heat. Cagney again plays a ruthless gangster, this time the sadistic Ralph Cotter, who manages to escape from prison while murdering a fellow convict. Backing up Cagney in this exciting film are Barbara Payton (Dallas, Only the Lonely), Helena Carter (The Golden Hawk, Invaders from Mars), Ward Bond (all around film tough guy and the more sympathetic star of television's long-lasting Wagon Train), Barton MacLane (The Treasure of Sierra Madre, Tarzon and the Huntress, and television's I Dream of Genie), Luther Adler (D.O.A., Wake of the Red Witch). Rhys Williams (How Geen Was My Valley, Raintree County), William Frawley (television's I Love Lucy, My Three Sons), Kenneth Tobey (The Thing from Another World, television's Whirlybirds), and Frank Reicher (King Kong, Son of Kong). Among the uncredited actors were Neville Brand, William Cagney (brother of Jimmy), and King Donovan.
Directed by Gordon Douglas (The Sins of Rachael Cade, In Like Flint, Tony Rome) and adapted from McCoy's novel by Harry Brown (A Place in the Sun, Sands of Iwo Jima), this movie was produced by William Cagney through a production company form by his brother Jimmy and himself.