"Detective Story" shares some similarities with "Where the Sidewalk Ends." Detectives haunted by their fathers, obsessive in their pursuit of justice because of it, both chasing criminals they're told to lay off, both violent in their methods. Kirk Douglas in one, Dana Andrews in the other. I find "Sidewalk" a very satisfying film. "Detective Story" disappointed me. Maybe because the first moves and shifts constantly, with the hero getting himself into deeper and deeper trouble, and in "Detective Story," the hero reacts to situations and circumstances, he doesn't cause them. There's nothing wrong with that, and "Detective Story" is a good movie. Kirk Douglas is awesome as usual. It just isn't a repeat viewer like "Sidewalk" is.
Best part of "Detective Story" was that Bert Freed was in it (coincidentally, he's in "Sidewalk" too). I love Bert Freed. I'd watch him in anything. It's interesting, isn't it? It isn't always the good-looking hero we want to bring home.