Tagline – The raw, savage, sceen-searing story of the treasury’s tough guys!
Starring – Dennis O’Keefe (Dennis O’Brien), Mary Meade (Evangeline), Alfred Ryder (Tony Genaro), Wallace Ford (The Schemer), June Lockhart (Mary Genaro), Charles McGraw (Moxie).
Released – December, 1947
Directed By – Anthony Mann
Produced By – Edward Small Productions, Pathe Industries
Distributed By – Eagle-Lion Films
Description – The U. S. Treasury Department finally has an opportunity to get their hands on a sample of the paper being used in a large counterfeiting operation. The paper is good… very good, and would prove invaluable to the department’s investigation.
A Los Angeles informant had promised to turn the sample over to a Treasury agent, but before this could take place the informant is killed. Back to square one.
It’s now time for desperate measures and the Treasury Department decides to assign two of its agents to go undercover. The agents, Dennis O’Brien and Tony Genaro, under the assumed names of Harrigan and Galvani, will infiltrate the gang through connections in Detroit.
With the assistance of the Detroit police the agents now have a phony background to go along with their undercover identities. The pair approach local crime boss Carlo Vantucci looking for work. After Vantucci checks them out he hires the men to work in his counterfeit liquor stamps racket. It isn’t long before they learn of the mob’s Los Angeles connection, a man known as The Schemer.
With his new identity, agent O’Brien returns to Los Angeles to find The Schemer. O’Brien locates his man in a bath house and follows him back to a hotel where they both join an illegal dice game. O’Brien uses a phony bill in the game that immediately gets the attention of The Schemer who makes a deal with O’Brien to provide him with a higher quality paper in exchange for his two counterfeit plates.
The first half of the deal takes place with The Schemer providing some of the quality conterfeit paper to O’Brien. However, O’Brien will not turn over the other plate until he gets to meet the boss. Now, O’Brien and Genaro plan to set up The Schemer and his boss Shiv Triano.
Everything is looking good until Genaro and The Schemer are shopping in the Farmer’s Market. While there, Tony is recognized by a friend of his wife. He tells her, in front of The Schemer, that she is mistaken, but the incident makes The Schemer suspicious.
The boss arrives from China along with his second in command Diana Simpson. Diana lacks confidence in The Schemer and considers him a threat to their operation. She orders Schemer to be killed. Before his murder he tells Diana’s henchman Moxie that, on numerous occasions, Tony has tried to call San Francisco.
This information makes Tony very suspicious to Diana and Triano. Tony’s murder is next, as he is shot right in front of his partner, Dennis O’Brien. Once again the whole investigation is threatened and O’Brien may be next in line to die.
NOTABLE: T-Men received one Oscar nomination for Best Sound, Recording.
The motion picture was shot in semi-documentary style and is reportedly based on several actual Department of Treasury cases.