Otto Preminger made four films noirs at Fox, all terrific. If we set aside the peerless Laura as more psychological mystery-romance than noir, there's plenty of evidence for judging Where the Sidewalk Ends the best of the lot (the other two being Fallen Angel, a study in small-town perversity, and Whirlpool, a delicious exercise in creepy psychology, slippery mise-en-scène, and daringly complicated point-of-view). It's a hard-edged tale of a borderline-vicious New York police detective, Mark Dixon (Dana Andrews), with tortuous personal reasons for overzealousness in going after the bad guys. Much of the film unreels in one night, when the murder of a high-roller from out of town precipitates a string of events that lead to Dixon's becoming an accidental killer. Preminger's direction is taut, forceful, and fluid, especially when Dixon sets about creating an alibi for himself. Unfortunately, an innocent man gets implicated, with Dixon looking on, and the guilty cop's moral and psychological torment increases with each turn of the screw.