This is one of the largest roles Bronson had, in his early days in Hollywood. He plays Ben Hastings, a crazed prison escapee, who enjoys killing. "CRIME WAVE" is a classic "film noir", one of Martin Scorsese and James Ellroy's favorite movies of all time. Sterling Hayden is good as the tired cop, Phyllis Kirk is pretty, but the real standout is Bronson, scary as the sadistic thug. In the scene where he punches the informer to death, he looks like a demented ape.