The hands of fate grip like a vise in Fritz Lang's darkest journey through the lower depths. Robinson's portrayal of married cashier and hobby painter Chris Cross is wonderful, as we see him slide into less than honorable means of getting cash for his slovenly femme fatale and her sleazy ratbag pimp. There's one delicious moment of comic relief, though, but of course punishment for all at the end. Nevertheless, the film was banned in New York State.
Unfortunately, the Questar DVD that Tulsa Public Library has is awful, made from a bad print with scratches and even pieces of tape all over it. What's more, it's blurry and the contrast is low, meaning the blacks are dark gray and the whites are dirty. Turning up the contrast on your TV helps a little. If you are really interested in seeing the movie at its best, look for another source. Kino Lorber and TCM sell DVDs which would be good bets. The film is in the public domain and any bozo can make a DVD of it without permission.