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.
The Moorish general Othello is manipulated into thinking that his new wife Desdemona has been carrying on an affair with his lieutenant Michael Cassio when in reality it is all part of the scheme of a bitter ensign named Iago.
Michael O'Hara, against his better judgement, hires on as a crew member of Arthur Bannister's yacht, sailing to San Francisco. They pick up Grisby, Bannister's law partner, en route. Bannister has a wife, Rosalie, who seems to like Michael much better than she likes her husband. After they dock in Sausalito, Michael goes along with Grisby's weird plan to fake his (Grisby's) murder so he can disappear untailed. He wants the $5000 Grisby has offered, so he can run off with Rosalie. But Grisby turns up actually murdered, and Michael gets blamed for it. Somebody set him up, but it is not clear who or how. Bannister (the actual murderer?) defends Michael in court. Written by
John Oswalt <email@example.com>
The character played by Everett Sloane describes himself at one point as the son of "a Manchester Greek"--an in-joke reference to Orson Welles' frequent stage and radio collaborator George Coulouris (most famous for playing Mr. Thatcher in Citizen Kane (1941)), who was the son of a Greek immigrant to the UK and who was born in the city of Manchester. See more »
When Mrs. Bannister is lunging for the exit in the mirrored room, the "broken glass" in the foreground stays in frame as the camera pans to the right, spoiling the illusion of a cracked window. See more »
Of all the film noirs of the 1940s and 1950s, this has to rank as one of the strangest, and most fun to watch. I say that because of the four main actors: Orson Welles, Rita Hayworth, Everett Sloane and Glenn Anders.
The first two names are familiar to everyone but it was the last two that made this movie so entertaining to me, especially Anders. His character, "George Grisby," is one of the strangest people I've ever seen on film. His voice, and some of the things he said, have to be heard to be believed. Slaone isn't far behind in the "strange" category. Hayworth is not as glamorous with short, blonde hair but still is Hayworth, which means a lot to ogle if you are a guy. Welles' is as fascinating as always. One tip: if you have the DVD, turn on the English subtitles. His character in this movie is an Irishman and you need the subtitles to understand everything he says.
Welles also directed the film which means you have great camera angles and wonderful facial closeups. You also have a unique ending, visually, with a shootout in a house of mirrors. Great stuff! As bizarre as this film is, I still thought the buffoon-like carnival atmosphere at the trial near the end was too much and took away from the seriousness of the scene. Other than that, no complaints.
This is great entertainment, which is the name of the game.
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