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Great Photography, Superb Jane Wyatt, Annoying Script
The actors and photography in this film are capable of so much, but we watch helplessly as Talent and Charm go squandered on a mix of out-dated Dick Tracy high-tech, underdeveloped but beautifully filmed romance, and (worst of all) an annoyingly sophomoric, Freudian-like sub-plot leading to an end-scene transformation of the grating, macho lead character (Preston Foster) into a normal human being. With the style of Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn at the end of Topper, Preston and Wyatt then ride off into the horizon in an open convertible, but this time leaving a wasteland of a script behind them.
The 1935 atmosphere of this film seems true enough, with post-prohibition gangland warfare, immigrant tenements, Tammany Hall, etc. corruption, but again, this film is light-weight, not penetrating into the higher reaches of that criminal organization - higher reaches with white collars - understudies of whom we have plenty today, in and around government.
Lest this "comment" appear too condemning, I'll admit to having checked to see if I could purchase a DVD copy - not with any eagerness to watch the whole film again, but only to be able to revisit certain scenes, above all, that wonderfully young Jane Wyatt and the styles and city streets of the time - streets named "nostalgia", though this film predates me by ten years.
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