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Joseph H. Lewis
Dame May Whitty,
An entertaining piece of noir fluff--great cast, clothes and dialog.
This glamorous post-war crime story has a protagonist who carefully walks that fine line between cops and crooks. In fact--that seems to be almost a requirement in the best noir flicks. Dick Powell is Johnny O'Clock, a smooth operator with an eye for getting himself the best of whatever's going around. Is he selfish down to the core, or is there a lingering speck of humanity in there somewhere? O'Clock is a partner in a swank gambling house, and when the hat-check girl is found murdered, he gets involved with crooked cops and more crooked criminals. A great supporting cast and nice 'behind the scenes at the casino' feel add to the fun. Powell played a similar role in Murder My Sweet, but his Phillip Marlowe was more the wise-cracking smart-Alec, while Johnny O'Clock is decidedly more shady. A real treat.
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