Rick Leland makes no secret of the fact he has no loyalty to his home country after he is court-marshaled out of the army and boards a Japanese ship for the Orient in late 1941. But has ... See full summary »
Phil and Ellen Gayley have been divorced for a year, and their 8-year old daughter, Flip, is very unhappy that her parents are not together. Flip starts a correspondence with a marine, ... See full summary »
Three time loser Duke Berne risks life in prison with one more armored car robbery. His attorney's wife Lorna, Berne's old sweetheart, keeps him from it but he goes to jail anyway. Duke and... See full summary »
Rip Murdock and Johnny Darke are en route to Washington when Johnny disappears and then turns up dead. Rip learns that Johnny had been accused of murder and sets out to find out what he can. He falls in love with Coral whose husband Johnny is supposed to have killed. Written by
Ed Stephan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In one scene, Martinelli asks Murdock if he's been around, and Murdock says, "East St. Louis is around enough." Several other times, Murdock talks about his pre-war job, owning a string of taxis in St. Louis. East St. Louis and St. Louis are two different cities; East St. Louis is in Illinois, St. Louis in Missouri. Why would Murdock answer that he's "been around" in East St. Louis if his cabs were in St. Louis? See more »
One can't help wondering, while watching this movie, whether one has seen it before. Not for the first time is Bogart out to avenge a friend's death. He's gone after polished, Continental Mr. Big types before, too; and Lizabeth Scott looks an awful lot like Lauren Bacall. Some of the dialogue seems to have been lifted in toto from earlier Bogart films. Yet for all this, Dead Reckoning is still entertaining. Its cliches are at least agreeably packaged, and the setting, the Gulf Coast South, is unusual. Bogart brings sublime integrity to his world-weary and life-battered persona, and however artificial and predictable the story might be, the star's authenticity is absolute. One believes what's going on because one believes Bogart.
This kind of thriller, which now falls under the general rubric of film noir, was losing a little steam by this time. For one thing, Morris Carnovksy's character of Martinelli had been done to death in the previous five years by everyone from Sydney Greenstreet to Otto Kruger. Marvin Miller's hulking, seemingly emotionally disturbed thug had become a commonplace fixture in such films; and while Miller is unique in his heavy-set, Orson Wellesian appearance, there's little that's new here, either. One can imagine script conferences of the day, with young screenwriters falling over one another trying to come up with a new psychological "complex" for the bad guy to be suffering from. Fortunately for the viewer, cliched though this movie is, it was made with extreme professionalism. Leo Tover's cinematography is understated, and nicely suggests the equatorial. John Cromwell was an old stage and movie pro by this time, though his usual magical touch with actors failed him with Miss Scott, he handles the tough guy stuff with suave authority.
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