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A World War II veteran, suffering from amnesia but otherwise healthy, is released from a veteran's hospital, decides to return to Los Angeles to see if he can regain his identity. Trying to retrace his former steps he soon learns that he was a double-crossing gangster, and many people have reasons to wish he wasn't around...and some try to see to it that he isn't around very long...alive, at least. Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
In one scene, John Payne hitches a ride in a mortuary van from a place called "Green Acres". It's coincidental that the movie's cast includes Frank Cady and Percy Helton, who both appeared on the TV series of the same name. See more »
Alexander's position in front of the War Surplus store changes between shots. See more »
The story, about a returning war veteran with amnesia discovering his criminal past, is remarkably similar to SOMEWHERE IN THE NIGHT from a few years earlier. Plotwise, it's not nearly as compelling as its predecessor. The amnesia angle really isn't exploited well and what's left is a rather uninteresting gangster story with bland characters. Decent performances from Payne, Tufts and Drew, but only Percy Helton really stands out. However, this has to be one the best-looking noirs out there, thanks once again to the talents of John Alton. Incredible shocks of bright light amidst deep shadows, unusual framing, dramatic angles, gritty locations... the entire picture is simply gorgeous, textbook noir. It's a shame that such impressive visuals aren't attached to a more engaging plot, but it's still a delight to behold.
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