Amid a semi-documentary portrait of New York and its people, Jean Dexter, an attractive blonde model, is murdered in her apartment. Homicide detectives Dan Muldoon and Jimmy Halloran ... See full summary »
In flashback, New York nightclub pianist Al Roberts hitchhikes to Hollywood to join his girl Sue. On a rainy night, the sleazy gambler he's riding with mysteriously dies; afraid of the police, Roberts takes the man's identity. But thanks to a blackmailing dame, Roberts' every move plunges him deeper into trouble... Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
To save on production costs,'Leo Erdödy', the film's composer, was recorded and filmed playing two classical piano pieces, Chopin Waltz No. 7 in C# minor and Brahms Waltz Op. 39 no. 15 in Ab Major as a favor for the director,Edgar G. Ulmer. Al Roberts (Tom Neal) "performs" the piano pieces during scenes set in the "Break of Dawn" nightclub. Erdödy's hands, in close-up, can be seen playing during the Brahms. See more »
When Al is playing the piano he is not pressing any of the keys, just moving his fingers across the tops of them. See more »
[as narrator after thumbing a ride]
I guess at least an hour past before I noticed those deep scratches on his right hand. They were wicked, three puffy red lines about a quarter inch apart. He must have seen me looking at them because he said...
Charles Haskell Jr.:
Beauties, arent they? They're gonna be scars someday. What an animal!
Whatever it was, it must have been pretty big and vicious to have done that!
Charles Haskell Jr.:
Right on both counts, New York! I was tussling with the most dangerous animal in the world - a woman!
[...] See more »
You can quibble about details, but it's hard to deny that this is a classic in its genre. Al Roberts (Tom Neal) makes a series of bad choices that bring him low. They're the choices of a not particularly bright young man under increasing pressure. Vera (Ann Savage) is the quintessential Bad Girl. Their repartee, indeed much of the dialogue throughout, is a big part of the attraction of this film. The plot, presented in flashback, barrels on relentlessly to its conclusion. The characterizations, dialogue, plot, photography--all contribute to make this taut, gritty film a must for film noir enthusiasts. My only real disappointment is with the rather abrupt end. On the whole, though, great fun.
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