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Impact (1949)

7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 1,650 users  
Reviews: 53 user | 13 critic

A unfaithful wife plots with her lover to kill her husband, but the lover is accidentally killed instead. The husband stays in hiding, and lets his wife be charged with conspiracy.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Helen Walker ...
...
Su Lin Chung
Robert Warwick ...
Clarence Kolb ...
Art Baker ...
Eldredge - Defense Attorney
William Wright ...
...
Sheilah Graham ...
Sheila Graham
Tony Barrett ...
Philip Ahn ...
Glen Vernon ...
Ed (as Glenn Vernon)
Linda Leighton ...
Miss Revere - Telephone Operator (as Linda Johnson)
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Storyline

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

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Wanted By Two Women! One For Love! One For Murder!

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

26 September 1949 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

Mysteriet Williams  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Midway through the film, Walter tells Marsha: "A rolling stone gathers no moss." Later, when Marsha asks Walter if he's returning to hometown, Walter replies: "Wild horses couldn't drag me back there." Nearly 25 years after the release of this film, British group The Rolling Stones had a hit with the song "Wild Horses." See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Lt. Tom Quincy: Are you Ah Sing? Understand? You understandee English?
Ah Sing: [nods] Also French, Italian, and Hebrew.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Avain (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

It Can't Be
Written by Leo C. Popkin and Chuck Gould
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Great photography, great acting, tight and twisty plot. See it!!
13 March 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Impact (1949)

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).


11 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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