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Joseph H. Lewis
Dame May Whitty,
The editor of a New York exploitation newspaper meets the wife he had abandoned years ago, while using another name, at a LonelyHearts ball sponsored by his newspaper. She threatens to expose him as a wife-deserter, wife-beater and an impostor, and, in anger, he hits her with his fist and accidentally kills her. Later, when her body is found, he assigns his protégé reporter to the story, as a good, exploitable follow-up story to the ball. And, then, he is forced to sit back and watch while the reporter slowly tracks down the killer. Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Gripping storyline fueled by some heavy duty irony. Crawford plays a ruthless tabloid newspaper editor who has the tables turned on him when he commits a crime, then finds himself having to encourage his top reporter to get to the bottom of the story, in order to deflect suspicion. Top notch suspense as Crawford gambles that he can keep his cool and get away with it, even as the walls close in and the odds look worse and worse. The dialogue is typical Samuel Fuller, (he wrote the novel upon which the film was based) colorfully gritty but at times head-scratchingly obtuse. Crawford is at his no-nonsense, take no prisoners, mince-no-words best, and able support from a young John Derek and Donna Reed (smoking cigarettes and a little less squeaky clean than usual). Good stuff.
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