Johnny Farrell is a gambling cheat who turns straight to work for an unsettling casino owner Ballin Mundson. But things take a turn for Johnny as his alluring ex-lover appears as Mundson's wife, and Mundson's machinations begin to unravel.
A private eye escapes his past to run a gas station in a small town, but his past catches up with him. Now he must return to the big city world of danger, corruption, double crosses and duplicitous dames.
Nick Smith, the middle-aged proprietor of a roadside restaurant, hires drifter Frank Chambers as a handyman. Frank eventually begins an affair with Nick's beautiful wife Cora, who talks Frank into helping her kill Nick, by "accident." But the best laid plans...... Written by
Jim Beaver <email@example.com>
Position of Frank's hand on the armrest when he and Cora talk after leaving the preliminary hearing. See more »
You know, there's something about this that's like, well it's like you're expecting a letter that you're just crazy to get, and you're hanging around the front door for fear you might not hear him ring. You never realize that he always rings twice...
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This film has all the ingredients of classic noir without actually being a very good movie.
The biggest problem I had with the film was that the characters are an unconvincing blend of naivety and cunning. One minute they're suckered by an old man running a burger bar, the next they're foiling a blackmail plot hatched by corrupt lawmen and wielding guns like they're hardened gangsters.
The ending is equally unconvincing, with the protagonist happily latching onto his death sentence as some kind of salvation that gives him moral certainty in the amoral noir world he's been floundering in. It's as if this is a noir made by people who were anti-noir.
Noir will always involve a clash between innocence and experience but it's not convincingly handled here. It isn't the first noir I'd make that complaint against, either - things like SHadow of a Doubt and Night of the Hunter have a similar unreal atmosphere.
In my opinion the best noir is both believable and hellish; like The Third Man, Double Indemnity, Notorious or Chinatown.
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