Humphrey Bogart in a very Bogartesque role - a tough guy (that stare in the shot above!) with a hidden sentimental and soft side. It was his first major hit as a leading man. It was co-written by John Huston, who directed him in The Maltese Falcon which came a few months after this and which really made him a big Hollywood star. Raoul Walsh, the director of the film, is more well-known for his straightforward gangster and action films so may be it was the presence of Huston which gave this film depth, complexity and pathos and which places it in the great noir tradition. (Though admittedly I am not really familiar with Walsh's work.) It does boast of some very impressive chase sequences and location shooting however.