Kathy leaves the newspaper business to marry homicide detective Bill but is frustrated by his lack of ambition and the banality of life in the suburbs. Her drive to advance Bill's career soon takes her down a dangerous path.
Returning a lost wallet gains unemployed veteran Chuck Scott a job as chauffeur to Eddie Roman, a seeming gangster whose enemies have a way of meeting violent ends. The job proves nerve-wracking, and soon Chuck finds himself pledged to help Eddie's lovely, fearful, prisoner-wife Lorna to escape. The result leaves Chuck caught like a rat in a trap, vainly seeking a way out through dark streets. But the real chase begins when the strange plot virtually starts all over again... Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
"The Hedda Hopper Show - This Is Hollywood" broadcast a 30 minute radio adaptation of the movie on November 9, 1946 with Robert Cummings and Michèle Morgan reprising their film roles. See more »
In the car after the chicken run with the train, Gino lights a cigarette in close-up. Cut to a wider angle, and he's again lighting the cigarette. Back to close-up, and his hand is now at his side, with the cigarette out of frame until he raises it to take a puff. See more »
[after getting his lost wallet returned]
How do you like that for an honest guy!
I don't... Silly, law-abiding jerk.
See more »
In just the first scene the noir schmuck, an ex-GI back from the war, is wistfully looking at a man frying bacon behind a shopwindow, looks down, where lo in a sardonic twist of noir fate, he discovers a wallet full of money. Being a straight-up guy, he shows up at the mobster's place in Miami to return it, where he's promptly hired as a driver, falls for the unhappy wife, and elopes with her to Havana, the place of desire.
It's a dreamy setup worthy of the most profound noir, but the movie outright fails the acting is stiff, the romance is forced, the pace is lethargic, the camera is uninteresting. We simply have second- grade talent doing poverty row work for a quick pay.
But even botched Woolrich is something, and this one's just so bizarre.
The narrator, our GI schmuck, suffers such intense anxiety (possibly related to the war, as often in noir). Midway through the narration breaks down and re-arranges the world. This is preceded by his very own death following a very murky chase through Havana, another deeply noirish twist. Anyway, it turns out that he was never in Havana, though he has the two tickets in his pocket.
We have obvious hallucination but the weirdest thing is as follows: 'when' the hallucination starts is undefinable and the ensuing 'real' story picks up from some point in it and culminates in another previously hallucinated moment in Havana. It's strange, because nothing is really done with it. But as clear explication of noiras with Woolrich's Fear in the Night, almost too clear for my tastethis is straight to the point.
Noir Meter: 3/4
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