Andrew Morton is an attorney who made it out of the slums. Nick Romano is his client, a young man with a long string of crimes behind him. After he lost his paycheck gambling, hoping to buy his wife some jewelry, she announced she was pregnant, Later he finds her dead from suicide. When he turns again to robbery he’s caught by a cop and Nick pumps all his bullets into him in frustration. Morton’s appeal to the court emphasizes the evils of the slums.Producer Mark Hellinger had owned the rights to the novel and was planning to film it when he opened his own production company in late 1947. Humphrey Bogart was to be a partner in Mark Hellinger Productions. However, Hellinger died in December 1947. It is probable that Bogart purchased the rights from Hellinger’s estate some time in 1948, and this film was the first production of Bogart’s independent company, Santana. This was the first film made by Humphrey Bogart’s independent production company, Santana. He chose Nicholas Ray to direct because he had greatly admired his directorial debut They Live by Night. When Humphrey Bogart was told that director Nicholas Ray wanted to film the entire ‘sentencing statement for the defense’ sequence in a single take, Bogart was concerned because he had never delivered such a long speech without cuts and feared he couldn’t do it. Ray calmed Bogart down, suggested several rehearsals, and much to Bogart’s surprise, Ray rolled during the rehearsals filming most of what has become the famous and well played sentencing sequence.