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 William's Apartment building is the Brocklebank, most famous for its appearance in Vertigo (1958). See more »
In a scene in the Captain's office, when Quincy being asked to investigate Williams' story, in a longer shot Quincy's hands are resting on a desk lamp on the desk, the next closer shots shows them being held in front of him. See more »
Don't forget, it's easier to be tolerant and understanding at fifty than it is to be at twenty-five.
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Whoever likes movies of the late Forties should not miss this one. It tells a typical film noir story that is coherent and easy to understand. Impact is a quite artful picture, obviously made by first rate professionals. The balance between location shooting (mainly in and around San Francisco) and the extraordinarily stylish sets is in my opinion perfect and well thought out. At the center of the story is the attempted killing of the main character by his wife's lover. The car with the two men drives at night along a sinuous mountain road. It slows down and stops because of a flat tyre. As the viewers already know, this is the spot where the murder should take place. With unbelievable ease the natural surroundings (reminding you of the dramatic climax in Hitchcock's Family Plot) change into an almost expressionistic stage set with artificial fog at the bottom and everything. It is an unforgettable moment. What the film people could achieve in those days!
Brian Donlevy has some very good moments. As after a phone call he fully realises that his wife who he naively loved (calling himself "Softy" in his messages to her) had cheated and betrayed him, he stumbles to a bench on a station platform, stares into the void with dim eyes and then starts crying with rage and frustration. The scene takes almost a minute and proves that Donlevy is a much underrated actor who should be honored more.
Apart from the realistic presentation of parts of San Francisco in the late Forties (it complements Welles impressions in Lady from Shanghai"), Impact has some nice pieces of slang (at least to a foreigner whose mother tongue is not English). "Grovel a shuteye" for "taking a nap", that's nice, isn't it?
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