So what's the point, then? Why even dredge it up from YouTube? Because PAROLE, INC. is the absolute embodiment of the across-the-board "almost noir," partaking of just enough noir elements to get right to the "noir borderline" as measured by Dan H.'s favorite toy (!!), the "noir-o-meter." Director Alfred Zeisler (a pioneer in German early sound crime thrillers before fleeing Hitler) and veteran cinematographer Gilbert Warrenton cast aside any pretense of expressionism and give us a police procedural with a watered-down Cagney (O'Shea), a smoother-than-melted butter mastermind (Turhan Bey, perhaps wishing he'd brought his bird companion with him from THE AMAZING MR. X), a budding moll whose potential for sleekness is kept under wraps by a beyond-Poverty Row wardrobe budget (Evelyn Ankers), and a gaggle of B-actor mugs who are so interchangeable that they probably drew straws with the director to see who'd play good guys and who'd play villains.
The noir-o-meter notes the noir techniques wanly applied (flashback, voiceover) and the utter indifference to noir visuals, and brings PAROLE, INC. in at 96/200, (4.8/10) with almost identical scores in all three major element categories. A "sabermetric" analyst of baseball would dub this a "replacement-level noir," and maybe that term actually applies.
For all that, it's surprisingly watchable...judge for yourselves! (BTW, the TCM logo you see on the YouTube link image is not THE TCM, but a "replacement-level" surrogate slinking around in the shadows of YouTube land...and FWIW, you'll get a longer look at Virginia Lee, the jazz-crazy bar girl, aka "Easy Jeannie" from D.O.A., in a role that doesn't evidence much acting range in terms of line delivery but whose desperate tussle with one of Bey's thugs near the end is probably the film's best sequence.)