The New York Times calls it "a pip of a melodrama" and calls this role "Victor Mature's best character".
DVD Talk says, "the whole cast -including Karl Malden in a billed bit part- does strong work here" and closes with this: "a film noir classic. Richard Widmark's gleeful psychopath is iconic and unforgettable, while Victor Mature's soulful lead performance proves he was more than just a handsome beefcake. Highly Recommended." Rotten Tomatoes has a critics rating of 86%.