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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
A good example of a little known "film noir," this 1949 film was shot primarily on location in San Francisco.
There is good acting all around, from the main stars down to supporting cast, and the plot does tie together nicely.
Look for Mae Marsh, a silent film star who plays Ella Raines mother, and also look for a brief cameo appearance by syndicated columnist and radio personality Sheila Graham, playing herself of course.
Brian Donlevy, who made similar "noir" films, among them D.O.A., appears to be right at home in this film, and is wonderful in an understated way.
The film, at almost 2 hours in length was a bit long for the time, and might drag a bit, but is worth watching.
Anna Mae Wong plays the maid in this film, an old time character actress from the days of silent films, she has a small but all important role in the film, for she holds the key (literally) to how the whole movie ends. Listen for some degrading Chinese music when Ms. Wong is on the run.
Interesting note, Helen Walker who plays the scheming wife in the film, was involved in a major scandal of her own. On New Years Eve, 1946, she was driving home some hitchhiking soldiers near Redlands, California. Walker, apparently drunk at the wheel, got into a car accident in which one of the soldiers was killed and the other two badly injured. Though in the end exonerated of any guilt from the accident, it seemed to plague her for the rest of her life, and she slipped deeper and deeper into depression.
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