Director: Mervyn LeRoy
Year Released: 1941
The titular mobster (Robert Taylor) "plays" taxi driver while on parole - and doing underworld-y things when no one's looking - and gets romantically involved with an adoring young woman (Lana Turner) whose stepdad just so happens to be a powerful attorney (Edward Arnold). The script is muddy and the Eager character, played by the reliably blank Taylor, doesn't make for a memorable antihero - it makes you wonder why Lana would be so smitten with him - leaving his perpetually drunken buddy Jeff (Van Heflin) to be the only semi-interesting figure in this with all of the best lines ("Are you starting to encounter literate dames?"). Aside from working as a vehicle for Heflin to win the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, I like to think of it as an early training exercise for Turner to learn how to murder gangsters in real life. No, wait, that was her daughter ... cough, cough.