The beauty of Siodmak's film is how it objectively observes how a man acts with the spectre of death on his shoulder. We love Tommy DeVito, but it's because his villainy borders on the entertainingly absurd. Martin isn't evil in the traditional sense; his drive for nihilistic self-preservation is nourished by an impulse to protect those who prayed at his bedside, despite all he'd done.
Stylised the film may be, but subtly, so that the plotting, places and people all feel real, and not merely movie tropes... I shouldn’t like to make too much of any resemblance, but as with the best of Scorsese, one does get the impression that Siodmak, here as in his marvellous debut People on Sunday (1930), displayed an unusually keen understanding of the world he was depicting.