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 »
When the owner of a printing shop is found dead, the District Attorney assumes that it was a suicide. But the Assistant D.A., Howard Malloy, suspects that there is a connection with an extremist political group called the 'Crusaders'. When a journalist whose articles had attacked the Crusaders is also killed, Malloy is convinced. With help from the widow of a prominent judge, he conducts an investigation. As he does so, he meets a peculiar political boss and also an attractive night club singer, each of whom could become either a source of help or a source of danger. Written by
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 »
Pet shop owner:
[carrying a striped cat]
Perhaps you'd like this little lady. Miss Whitfield.
[holding a black cat]
No. thank you. This is the one. Does he have a name?
Pet shop owner:
Yes, it's Bennie - Benvenuto, really.
Hmmm. I used to have a cat they called Hadrian the Seventh. We ended up calling him Harry.
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... There has to be a limit. This movie is pretty much a mess. It doesn't feel like New York City, of which I am a native and almost-lifetime resident. It has too many plots going at once. They add up but only with force on the part of the writers.
It starts out as a sort of Northern "Storm Warning." (Now, there we have a superb, underrated movie!) I guess the racist posters that set off the plot are symbolic of the beginning of the McCarthy witch-hunts. If they aren't, they don't make any sense: OK, granted: According to my parents Manhattan at that time was not always friendly to people other than Caucasians. But were there actually plots and mobs? I can't believe it.
The casting gives it some noir cred. I'm not talking about the brief cameos by big stars. Nor,really, about Franchot Tone. He is OK but he isn't exactly a noir staple and he's maybe a bit old for the role.
But we have Jean Wallace. We have Marc Lawrence.
For me, the single best feature of the film is the presence in a fairly small but significant role of an actress I had never before tonight heard of: Winifred Lenihan.
I see that she was the first person to play the title role in Shaw's "St. Joan" on Broadway. She is in very different territory here. But whoever cast her did so with genius: She is absolutely perfect.
Also, I wonder about the character played by Hedley Rainnie. He's ambiguous in many ways. He wears a beard and maybe that's meant to signify his foreign origins. I wonder, though: Is he intended to be gay? The way the character is portrayed reminds me of the intentionally creepy go-between for the Senator and his ex lover in the better known and overrated "Advise and Consent" almost a decade later.
It isn't a good movie, in sum. And the print I saw was really bad. But watch it for Ms. Lenihan. In a very quiet way, she's brilliant!
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