In flashback from a 'Rebecca'-style beginning: Ellen Foster, visiting her aunt on the California coast, meets neighbor Jeff Cohalan and his ultramodern clifftop house. Ellen is strongly ... See full summary »
A woman secretly suffering from kleptomania is hypnotized in an effort to cure her condition. Soon afterwards, she is found at the scene of a murder with no memory of how she got there and seemingly no way to prove her innocence.
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 car driven by Walter Williams is a yellow 1948 Packard Victoria 8, the most luxurious and expensive convertible of it's day, and America's leading luxury make for several decades. The Inspector played by Charles Coburn calls it a Packard roadster. 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 »
Although the final third gets in the way and is finally disappointing,it does not keep "impact" from being absorbing and entertaining.One of the rare film noirs -maybe the only one - which takes a look on the brighter side of the road:sandwiched between two very dark parts,the second one has Capra accents:the country town is some Shangri-la where time stood still ,with its very nice people ,the girl who owns a garage but of course does not know anything about mechanics(woman's lib supporters will cringe),the young father proud of his new-born son ,the Sunday service,the old lady cooking tasty little dishes.All of this is unusual in a film noir.Some might say that "shadow of a doubt"(1942) had already that ,but evil could enter this world,as the heroine 's uncle came to town.Here,the evil is elsewhere ,in San Francisco.Only in San Francisco.Or on the dark road where anything can happen:first part is effective,and shows some "Postman always rings twice" (1946) influence.
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