Barbara Stanwyck is tough as nails as Mae Doyle in this Fritz Lang noir drama about a woman who returns to her humble home after her adventures in life and the big city don't work out. Determined to find happiness in the town she once ran from, she settles down with a kind man she doesn't love, half heartedly convincing herself that she's cut out for the quiet, simple life. It becomes clear she may have made a mistake when she meets Earl, a kind of low-life bad boy, played with equal gravitas by Robert Ryan.
The two begin an affair, and Mae has to choose between security and excitement; between stability and passion. It's generally referred to as a noir, but there is no tough talking, crime or mystery here. It's a gritty melodrama with strong performances, even if it's hard to swallow the ending. This is based on a play by Clifford Odets and features Marilyn Monroe in her first credited role.