A rarity from Italy, probably not going to make the cut for Eddie's twelve angry international noirs, but worth a look as an early collaboration between melodrama specialist Raffaelo Matarazzo and the more generically unbound Mario Monicelli (here a co-writer, but soon to begin a 69-film career as a director).
Here are some descriptive words about the film from the indefatigable db dumonteil:
Although there are elements of melodrama (the sister who tries to save her poor brother, a junkie in jail),this Matarazzo film does not belong to the genre of which he was a brilliant representative (see "Tormento" "Catene" "Il Figli Del Nessuno" "La Nave Delle Donne Maledette"); it's closer to Film Noir ,and it features a famous dispenser of justice Za-La-Mort ,an Italian equivalent of French Arsene Lupin and British Raffle.
The best of this extravaganza, the events of which remind you of the serials of the silent age, is the central part, when Lina (Mariella Lotti) enters the enchanted palace, where many of her brother's "friends" welcome her. She's like Alice who discovers her maleficent wonderland where all is "so strangely sweet, tea and cigarettes." The depiction of the opium den where everybody becomes a slave to their dose, with its head aptly called the Master, is still impressive today.
The rest of the movie is more derivative: the police are rather dumb (they arrest the wrong woman ,in an implausible scene) and the heroine on the rails with a train coming is worthy of "the perils of Pauline" or "Les Vampires."