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Side Street

Side Street(1950)

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Remind Me

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Joe Norson, an expectant father and a New York City postman of modest means, dreams of having enough money to take his wife Ellen to Europe. One day, while on his mail delivery route, Joe, frustrated by his inability to provide for his wife and future family, steals $30,000 from the office of disreputable lawyer Victor Backett. Unknown to Joe, the $30,000 was blackmail payoff money that Backett extorted from Emil Lorrison, an innocent man who was framed in a sex scandal by the crooked lawyer. Backett later kills Lorrison and dumps his body in the East River. Joe, meanwhile, tries to explain his sudden wealth by telling Ellen that he has taken a lucrative job in Schenectady. For safekeeping, Joe packages the money and leaves it with his pal Nick Drumman, a bartender. A short time later, Ellen gives birth to a baby boy, and Joe, feeling remorse for the theft, decides to return the stolen money. Backett, however, suspects that Joe is trying to trap him, and refuses to accept the money until he does a background check on Joe. Backett later sends his accomplice, Georgie Garsell, to abduct Joe and get the package, but when Garsell opens it, he discrovers that the money is missing. When Garsell learns that Nick has absconded with the $30,000, he kills the bartender and recovers the money. Joe is later sought by the police for Nick's murder, but he eludes capture and goes to the hospital where Ellen is recuperating from childbirth. There, Joe explains the story to his wife, and she urges him to surrender himself to the police. Joe, however, refuses to do so but Garsell sets a trap for him and enlists the aid of his cab driver friend, Larry Giff, to kill Joe and dump his body in the river. En route to the location where they intend to murder Joe, Garsell and Giff are followed by police Captain Walter Anderson, and a chase ensues. In a desperate move to end the chase, Joe grabs the steering wheel of the taxi and deliberately crashes it. Garsell is shot and killed while trying to escape, but Joe lives to tell the truth to the police.