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William A. Wellman
Edward G. Robinson,
Joe Sullivan is itching to get out of prison. He's taken the rap for Rick, who owes him $50 Grand. Rick sets up an escape for Joe, knowing that Joe will be caught escaping and be shot or locked away forever. But with the help of his love-struck girl Pat and his sympathetic legal caseworker Ann, Joe gets further than he's supposed to, and we are posed with two very important questions: Is Joe really the cold and heartless criminal he appears to be, or is there a heart of gold under that gritty exterior? And does Joe belong with the tough, street-wise Pat, or with the prim, moralizing Ann? Written by
Martin Lewison <email@example.com>
Director Anthony Mann and photography whiz John Alton combined for several film noirs in the late 1940s and this was one. Most of them had the same feel which meant great photography and an okay-but-nothing-spectacular story.
This one was different in that in had a female doing the narration. I wouldn't mind that but in this kind of hard-boiled film, a feminine voice such as Claire Trevor's didn't sound right. Now, if she an edge to her a la Marie Windsor or Ann Savage, fine, but Trevor's voice didn't fit. Trevor was a good noir actress, but using her for narration was questionable.
It did have an apt villain, however, in Raymond Burr. The burly Burr was brutal, which means he was effective. He looked mean and sounded mean, all the way up to his 1954 "Rear Window" performance before going good-guy with television's Perry Mason. Dennis O'Keefe, Marsha Hunt and John Ireland also star and do a fine job. There is a lot of tough dialog in here.
There are tons of nighttime shots, very dark scenes so make sure you view this on DVD because prior VHS prints of this made it difficult to view.
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