'Simply put, this is the nightmare of Nicholas Ray: “When life is based on one law: fear. An island of outrage: work and sleep and eat by command; pray by command… Look over the gray fence at the far away hill, look through the bars at the free night, without hope except someday get out, get even.” In Knock on Any Door, lawyer Andrew Morton (Humphrey Bogart), a former child of skid row who was able to overcome circumstance, may be speaking about the experience of juvenile incarceration (which he knows intimately from first-hand experience), but he could very well be enunciating the subjectivity of any of Ray’s protagonists. Fear not only the demons from without, but also from within – as much the capacity for being wronged as for committing wrong – that one may “get out” and successfully “get even"...'
Cullen Gallagher is a Brooklyn-based writer, musician, and curator whose work has appeared in The Los Angeles Review of Books, The Life Sentence, Moving Image Source, Bright Lights Film Journal, Beat to a Pulp, NoirCon, Crimefactory, Film Comment, The L Magazine, The Brooklyn Rail, Fandor, Not Coming to a Theater Near You, Hammer to Nail, Spinetingler, Between Lavas, Reverse Shot, and Guitar Review. He records instrumental music as Modern Silent Cinema and plays in the hardcore band Night Squad.