A woman secretly suffering from kleptomania is hypnotized in an effort to cure her condition. Soon afterwards, she is found at the scene of a murder with no memory of how she got there and seemingly no way to prove her innocence.
During the World War II, a soldier is hit by a grenade that deforms his face and leaves him with amnesia. Sometime later, he is recovered and learns that his name is George Taylor and he is discharged from the army. He finds a letter written by a man called Larry Cravat that would be his pal and he goes to Los Angeles to seek out Larry Cravat to find his identity. He goes to a bank, a hotel, a Turkish bath and a night-club following leads. He is beaten up by Hubert, the henchman of Anzelmo that dumps him at the front door of the singer Christy Smith that works in a night-club. George tells his story to her and Christy decides to help him. She calls her boss and friend Mel Phillips that schedules a lunch with his friend Police Lt. Donald Kendall and Christy. They learn that Larry Cravat was a private investigator that somehow received US$ 2 million three years ago from Germany from a Nazi that was immediately deceased. Then George receives a tip to go to the Terminal Dock where he ... Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Hodiak, Conte and a host of Great Supporting Players in a Class-A Film Noir
SOMEWHERE IN THE NIGHT is not only a pleasure in terms of plot and atmosphere, it is filled with terrific supporting actors: Lloyd Nolan, Jeff Corey, Whit Bissell, Sheldon Leonard, Henry Morgan, Fritz Kortner, and the superb, virtually ignored Josephine Hutchinson, who has the emotional center of the film as a lonely victim of the murderous scheme. Some may remember Hutchinson as the android babysitter from The Twilight Zone episode "I Sing the Body Electric". And when are Corey, Bissell, Morgan and Nolan not welcome? Only Nancy Guild fails to equal her surrounding players, but she gets to deliver a few wry observations.
Not much can be said about Richard Conte, without spoiling the plot, but this is another one of the infallible actor's memorable characterizations.
John Hodiak probably never had enough opportunities to play lead in good films. We are fortunate to have here his extremely convincing amnesiac veteran: in a sense, the ultimate existential noir protagonist. A voice credit has been given to John Ireland, but it certainly sounds like Hodiak during the nightmarish opening sequence.
This was the second film Mankiewicz directed, and it's a big improvement over DRAGONWYCK. SOMEWHERE IN THE NIGHT belongs in the canon of compulsory Film Noir. Go out of your way to see it.
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