Police manhunt for a kidnapped blind girl
Union Station (1950) directed byRudolph Mate is a period crime action movie set in Chicago that marks the transition from the classic period of film noir to the 50′s police procedural. While the picture is weakened by a conventional plot and a fairly laconic performance from William Holden as the railway cop, the location shooting (actually on the streets of LA) has a “naked city” feel and the action played out in Union Station is made interesting by certain noirish episodes.
A truly bungled surveillance op on an elevated railway line climaxes in a cattle stockyard where a chase and shootout leaves one of the hoods trampled to death after a stampede set-off by the gun-fire.
A second hood spills the beans to the cops after he is taken down to the train shed to be worked-over and threatened with decapitation by steam train.
The final chase and shootout in the labyrinthine power plant and service tunnels under Union Station is a classic, with superior direction and camera work.
But the really impressive scene is when the cops arrive late at night on a deserted street outside a suspected hideout in a sleazy boarding house. It flows elegantly and has a strongly surreal quality without musical scoring.