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Jefty, owner of a roadhouse in a backwoods town, hires sultry, tough-talking torch singer Lily Stevens against the advice of his manager Pete Morgan. Jefty is smitten with Lily, who in turn exerts her charms on the more resistant Pete. When Pete finally falls for her and she turns down Jefty's marriage proposal, they must face Jefty's murderous jealousy and his twisted plots to "punish" the two. Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Intriguing Noir with a Sultry Performance by Ida Lupino
A fascinating, quietly invigorating noir piece from director Jean Negulesco. Richard Widmark is fantastic as the owner of the roadhouse who spoils the marriage of Cornel Wilde and Ida Lupino in the quasi-idyllic setting located in the U.S.-Canadian border. There are two things that kept me fascinated by this odd and satisfying little noir. One is the sultry presence of Ida Lupino as the silky, smooth-voiced torch singer Lily (her rendition of "One for My Baby" is itself precious). Without a doubt this is one of Lupino's best performances. The other is director Negulesco's intriguingly stylish direction: the use of languorous long takes and deep focus, particularly in the misty, smoke-induced finale in the wilderness is quite haunting and expressive. This is the only Negulesco film I've seen. I'm looking forward to this other works.
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