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HISTORY

The working titles of this film were Frame-Up and The Big Frame . Some scenes in the film were shot in Chicago, IL, according to reviews. The picture marked actor Rock Hudson's first onscreen credit, although he is billed as "Roc." Undertown also marked the feature film debut of character actor Robert ... More Less

The working titles of this film were Frame-Up and The Big Frame . Some scenes in the film were shot in Chicago, IL, according to reviews. The picture marked actor Rock Hudson's first onscreen credit, although he is billed as "Roc." Undertown also marked the feature film debut of character actor Robert Easton. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
10 Dec 1949.
---
Daily Variety
30 Nov 49
p. 3.
Film Daily
30 Nov 49
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Aug 49
p. 23.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Sep 49
p. 17.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Nov 49
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
3 Dec 49
p. 105.
New York Times
16 Dec 49
p. 37.
Variety
30 Nov 49
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
COSTUMES
Gowns
MUSIC
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec photog
MAKEUP
Makeup
Makeup
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
Scr supv
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
The Big Frame
Frame-Up
Release Date:
December 1949
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 15 December 1949
Production Date:
began mid August 1949
Copyright Claimant:
Universal Pictures Co., inc.
Copyright Date:
28 November 1949
Copyright Number:
LP2695
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
70-71
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
14208
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

After buying a half-interest in a small lodge near Reno, Tony Reagan, a recently discharged veteran, runs into Danny Morgan, an old friend from Chicago. Danny, who operates a Reno casino owned by Chicago racketeer Big Jim Lee, offers Tony a job, but Tony declines, stating that he gave up the "business" long ago. Tony shows Danny the engagement ring he plans to give Sally Lee, Big Jim's niece and ward, and Danny, in turn, shows off the ring he has bought for his girl. Confident and carefree, Tony then helps novice gambler Ann McKnight win at the craps table. The next day, after he wires Sally that he will be seeing her soon, Tony boards the same Chicago-bound airplane on which Ann is traveling. Tony and Ann, a schoolteacher, spend the flight chatting, and Ann can barely hide her disappointment when Tony tells her about Sally. As Tony deplanes in Chicago, he is met by police detective Chuck Reckling, a childhood friend, who informs him that his captain, Kerrigan, wants to see him. At the police station, Kerrigan advises Tony, who was run out of Chicago by Big Jim seven years before and was known to have threatened him, to leave town, but Tony refuses. Kerrigan has one of his men tail Tony, but Tony loses him and meets secretly with Sally at the Buckingham fountain. Although Sally suggests that they elope to avoid dealing with Big Jim, who has forbidden her from seeing anyone in the gambling syndicate, Tony insists on talking with Big Jim and telling him about his new life. That night, however, two men jump Tony ... +


After buying a half-interest in a small lodge near Reno, Tony Reagan, a recently discharged veteran, runs into Danny Morgan, an old friend from Chicago. Danny, who operates a Reno casino owned by Chicago racketeer Big Jim Lee, offers Tony a job, but Tony declines, stating that he gave up the "business" long ago. Tony shows Danny the engagement ring he plans to give Sally Lee, Big Jim's niece and ward, and Danny, in turn, shows off the ring he has bought for his girl. Confident and carefree, Tony then helps novice gambler Ann McKnight win at the craps table. The next day, after he wires Sally that he will be seeing her soon, Tony boards the same Chicago-bound airplane on which Ann is traveling. Tony and Ann, a schoolteacher, spend the flight chatting, and Ann can barely hide her disappointment when Tony tells her about Sally. As Tony deplanes in Chicago, he is met by police detective Chuck Reckling, a childhood friend, who informs him that his captain, Kerrigan, wants to see him. At the police station, Kerrigan advises Tony, who was run out of Chicago by Big Jim seven years before and was known to have threatened him, to leave town, but Tony refuses. Kerrigan has one of his men tail Tony, but Tony loses him and meets secretly with Sally at the Buckingham fountain. Although Sally suggests that they elope to avoid dealing with Big Jim, who has forbidden her from seeing anyone in the gambling syndicate, Tony insists on talking with Big Jim and telling him about his new life. That night, however, two men jump Tony outside Big Jim's house and knock him out. Soon after, Tony awakens in a long, narrow cement room, where the same two men blindfold him and shoot him in the arm. They then drive the semi-conscious Tony to a remote location, and when he revives a second time, he finds a gun in his car and hears a police radio report announcing that Big Jim has been murdered and he, Tony, is the prime suspect. Panicked, the wounded Tony grabs the gun and flees on foot to a drugstore. There, he tries to phone Sally and a friend, but sensing that the druggist has identified him, tears out the phone book page with Ann's address on it and heads for her home. Believing in Tony's innocence, Ann puts him up for the night and, the next day, helps him arrange a rendezvous with Sally. At the Buckingham fountain, Tony questions Sally about who might have killed her uncle, but she has no ideas. Armed with the murder weapon, Tony then goes to see Chuck and implores him to check blood on his handkerchief against blood found at the murder scene and put a trace on the gun. After Tony hands Chuck the gun, he goes to see Danny, who has just arrived from Reno. In the garage of Danny's apartment building, Gene, a large black man who was a devoted employee of Big Jim, beats Tony for killing his hero but is finally stopped by Danny. Like Sally, Danny tells Tony that Big Jim had many enemies and any one of them could be the murderer. Unknown to Tony, Sally is also visiting Danny and planned her uncle's murder with him so that she could marry Danny and still inherit his money. At Ann's, Tony calls Chuck to find out the results of the blood test, but learns that he has the same blood type as the killer. Chuck also tells him that the gun is untraceable, but later informs Kerrigan that he found no prints inside the gun or on the barrel, suggesting that Tony was framed. Chuck tries to convince Kerrigan of Tony's innocence, but the captain is unimpressed and suspends Chuck for failing to report his meeting with Tony. Despite the suspension, Chuck, who knows that the police are tracking Tony down through the torn-out phone book page, deduces his whereabouts by comparing the Reno airplane passenger list against the phone book page. At Ann's, Chuck shows Tony a detailed map of the area surrounding Big Jim's house and calculates the approximate location of the cement room in which Tony was shot. While Chuck and Ann go together to canvas the area, Tony finds Danny at the Lee house and asks him for help in the search. Danny and Sally go along with Tony's request, but when Tony recognizes the ring on Sally's finger as Danny's engagement ring, he infers their betrayal. Maintaining his composure, Tony accompanies Danny and two of his men, Stoner and Frost, to Danny's apartment building, which is one of the addresses on Chuck's list. Moments after they enter Danny's garage, Chuck shows up, declaring that the cement room is next to the garage. Trapped, Danny and his men draw their guns on Tony and Chuck. Noticing that Gene is hiding nearby, Tony loudly accuses Danny of killing Big Jim and jumps Stoner. Tony and Chuck then disarm Stoner and Frost, while Gene attacks Danny, killing him despite being shot several times. Later, Ann and Tony look forward to a happy future together in rural Nevada. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.