This film adaptation of James T. Farrell's novel about an Irish hero growing up on Chicago's poverty-stricken South Side during the 1920s is a valiant effort but lacks depth. Knight is too inexperienced to handle the lead role, but Gorshin shines in support, as does Westcott. Instead of
concentrating on a story about people struggling to make something of themselves despite overwhelming obstacles, producer Yordan tried too hard to make an arty film. The sets, props, and costumes give the production an authentic look, but the dialog at times is too modern for the era. Jack
Nicholson appears here in one of his earliest screen roles.