The movie was really good but the ending was awful. Having Father Dolan calling to Eddie and telling him the gates were open made no sense.
Eddie was a cheap crook who ruined the lives of everyone he came in contact with. Everyone around him was trying to help him but when things didn't go his way his true nature showed up.
When the trucking boss wouldn't give him his job back he punched him and insinuated that he couldn't go straight now. When Joan wouldn't get him the gun in prison he wouldn't talk to her and later blamed her for the position he found himself in. When Father Dolan wouldn't open the gate and moved closer to him, he shot him.
Eddie was always looking for someone to blame for the position he found himself in. But he was the one who had committed those earlier crimes, so it was up to him to work harder to overcome his past. But he wanted things handed to him and when they weren't he blamed everyone for the position he found himself in.
Eddie may have been innocent of the crime he was convicted of, but when he was cleared he still wouldn't believe the people around him who were trying to help.
This movie is a great example of an early film noir. In this movie the good woman was dragged down by a homme fatale, the counterpart to the femme fatale. Her fatal flaw was that she loved him too much.
Fritz Lang was a great director, but I think someone made him tack that Hollywood ending on to the film.