In San Francisco, the successful self-made businessman Walter Williams has just bought three factories in Denver with the approval of the board of directors. His beloved wife Irene tells him that she is not feeling well to travel with him, and asks Walter to give a lift to her cousin Jim Torrance. On the highway, Jim, who is actually Irene's lover, tries to kill Walter hitting his head and throwing him in a cliff, and has a fatal accident while escaping driving Walters's car. Walter is considered dead and later his wife is sent to jail accused of plotting his murder. Meanwhile, the wounded Walter sleeps in a moving van and awakes in Larkspur, a small town in Idaho. He is hired as a mechanic in a gas station by the owner, Marsha Peters. For three months, Walter reads the news, expecting revenge with Irene sentenced to death, and he and Marsha fall in love for each other. When Walter discloses the truth to Marsha, she convinces him to return to San Francisco and save his unfaithful wife... Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The failure of the original copyright holder to renew the film's copyright resulted in it falling into public domain, meaning that virtually anyone could duplicate and sell a VHS/DVD copy of the film. Therefore, many of the versions of this film available on the market are either severely (and usually badly) edited and/or of extremely poor quality, having been duped from second- or third-generation (or more) copies of the film. See more »
When Marsha tries to convince Walter/Bill that he has to return to San Francisco and tell his side of the story, the shadow of the boom is visible on the wall behind them. See more »
Great photography, great acting, tight and twisty plot. See it!!
An underrated, understated, nicely stylized, and tightly constructed film noir. The director, Arthur Lubin, is a B-movie figure (with a lot of films to his name), and I'm going to guess just from this one that there are others in the history that are very good. This has been running the noir circuits for a long time, and is especially noteworthy. The photography by Ernst Laszlo is especially helpful, and with some smart editing it makes for a visually terrific movie.
But the acting is great, too. Yes, everyone fills some familiar roles for this kind of upper crust murder and cover up, but it's tightly done, convincing throughout. Brian Donlevy is a fabulous (and typically Donlevy) industrialist who has to take on a second identity for part of the film, and it's a great surprise. The two lead women, both the same age (29), and both with short careers, play two very different types of women that the industrialist bounces between. The first, Helen Walker, is the clever, rich wife. The second, Ella Rains, is the homespun girl who wants only for everything to turn out okay. (Rains was a Howard Hawks discovery, and with her classic clean cut looks, even made it on the cover of Life Magazine twice, on February 28, 1944 and August 11, 1947.)
One other character whose performance is sterling is Charles Coburn, playing the aging detective. A lesser role, but from a remarkable actress, is the maid, played by Anna May Wong (who got stereotyped in the movies but who is now increasingly appreciated as the first major Chinese-American actress).
Yes, this is a great film for film buffs, and a really good story for everyone. Make sure you have a clean DVD transfer to appreciate the photography (see http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/DVDCompare10/impact_.htm for some info on that kind of thing).
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