Lee J. Cobb stars as Walter Mitchell the owner of a sweatshop in New York whose workers want a union. Mitchell has used mob muscle to keep the union out for the past 15 years.
When Mitchell's son (Kerwin Matthews) returns from 5 years in Europe he is almost immediately pulled into the war. Alan does not see things the way his father does, but he avoids getting involved.
Alan befriends Tony (Harold J. Stone) a man who is the leader of the people working in the shop and after he witnesses the brutal beating of some union men including Tulio Renata (Robert Loggia), Alan decides that his father is very wrong.
Tulio is killed by mob men on orders from their boss Artie Ravidge (Richard Boone) and the entire situation becomes very deadly for everyone. The violence escalates to the point of no return and finally Walter has had enough of the violence started by Artie and he demands Artie back off.
This results in Artie having Walter killed and soon everything starts coming apart. Alan has books and records of Artie's criminal dealing and tries to take them to the police.
This movie is a prime example of late 50's film noir, and everything about the movie works very well. It's brutal, downbeat and always compelling. The cast is top notch and also includes Valerie French, Gia Scala, Joseph Wiseman, Adam Williams, Wesley Addy (in a great role by the way), Celia Lovsky, Willis Bouchey and Suzanne Alexander.
If you get a chance you really should check this out.