A poor and alienated young man (Farley Granger) who is driven to murder when a priest refuses to give is deceased mother an expensive funeral. The film explores the crippling poverty that has prevented the youth from marrying or providing his mother with enough comforts, and has led to his crime. Dana Andrews plays the compassionate assistant of the slain priest who brings about the tormented killer's repentance. Written by
Ned Moore assaults the priest, Father Thomas Roth, in the rectory and as the priest falls to the floor, his Roman collar falls open and hangs loose. He stands up to continue the fight with his collar fully intact. See more »
Does this title suggest A.) film noir or B.) soap opera?
My view is that this movie falls somewhere between hose two genres. I'd call it closer to soap opera. And how, with all the talent involved, it failed so badly, makes it something of a mystery as well.
The same year, "Side Street" came out. Farley Granger was heartbreaking. He had been heartbreaking in the most poetic of all noirs two years earlier, too: "They Live By Night." Here he shows, and elicits, no emotion at all. His character is written as someone who's a little slow. But why? There were lots of young men living with, and fanatically attached to their mothers. There still are some.)
(By the way, I read the entry by the person whose father wrote the original book and feel empathy. There is certainly potential here. The movie just seems to have lost its way -- and lost it very early, despite the ministrations of a fine director, Mark Robson, and a superb screenwriter, in Philip Yordan.) None of it rings true, to put it bluntly. None of the major parts, that is. The florist for whom Granger works is well played and convincing. But the major characters are not credible.) Dana Andrews is miscast or ill directed as the understanding young priest who tries to help Granger. He goes in for such seriousness he seems to be speaking his every word in a hushed sounds. His delivery reminds me of Anne Baxter's when she is trying to convince people of her sincerity in "All About Eve." She convinced them for a while but he doesn't convince me. None of the principals do. And what a shame, too: It has potential and is performed, written, and directed by major talents.None is at his best here.
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