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"Try & Get Me"--is a strong entry in the noir canon because it is highly effective in its use of what we now call 'noir' style elements, and also because of the undiminished power of its social message.
Some really marvelous acting from Lloyd Bridges (Jerry Slocum, never colder or more threatening than here) and Frank Lovejoy (Howard, the very sympathetic, tragic protagonist) is the main ingredient of the movie's success. Several scenes have a palpable noir atmosphere. Examples: when the kidnapping plot takes a sinister turn, Lovejoy covering his face with his hands in shame and horror; when the sad, lonely manicurist realizes she is in the company of a sought-after killer. Lovejoy's situation could not be more noir: it works so well, because of intelligent, convincing writing. We believe he is desperate for money and Bridges' offer seems almost irresistable. The actor expertly conveys his constant ambivalence about his new "job". Bridges demonstrates a gift for a realistic, malevolent transition, early on, when Lovejoy balks at pulling a robbery. He goes from shirtless, cocksure strutting to dandified indignancy in seconds, transmitting the resentment that so many criminals have for honest citizens.
The film does recall Fritz Lang's magnificent "Fury", and according to sources, both films were based on the same true incidents. And for all the greatness of the Lang opus, "Try & Get Me" holds its own as a depiction of the dark, downward spiral of a desperate man.
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