A thug is convicted and undergoes experimental brain surgery to remove the criminal element in his brain. The operation wipes out all memories of his past life, including where he stashed ... See full summary »
A thug is convicted and undergoes experimental brain surgery to remove the criminal element in his brain. The operation wipes out all memories of his past life, including where he stashed the loot. He is abducted by his gang and they try to beat the truth out of him. His memories return in the form of weird dreams, and he and his old girlfriend track down the clues to find the money. Written by
The first 3-D feature ever released by a major American studio. House of Wax (1953)went into production first, but Columbia rushed "Man in the Dark" - shooting it in a mere 11 days - to get it into theaters just days before "Wax" opened. (Bwana Devil (1952) preceded both of them, but United Artists was not considered a major studio in the early 1950s.) See more »
Edmond O'Brien plays a criminal who is paroled to participate in experimental brain surgery which will remove his criminal impulses as well as his memory. The problem is that his former partners want their shares of $130,000 he stole before he went to jail. (Big Plot problem: Why would O'Brien agree to participate in this experiment if he knew he had a bundle waiting for him? Wouldn't he just do his time?) This B-crime drama, too light in tone to qualify as a Film-noir (check out O'Brien in DOA if you want to see some real Film Noir), with its paper-thin characterizations and dated tough guy dialog, would be easily forgotten if not for its status as the first Big Studio picture released in 3-D. Check it out: It beat "House of Wax" to the screens by one day. I just had the good fortune to see an excellent print of the film today at the Maryland Film Festival. (I should say prints, since it was projected by two cameras simultaneously.) The 3-D experience more than compensated for any deficiencies in the script. (In the film's defense, it does move along quite quickly in its effort to entertain.) I have seen many of the classic 3-D films in their natural format, and I found the 3-D in this film fabulous. Just seeing the black & white Columbia logo itself was worth the price of admission. Oddly, however, the intentional 3-D effects, amusing as they could sometimes be, distracted from the overall 3-D experience. I found myself fascinated simply by the illusion of depth in simple conversational scenes with the occasional object in the foreground. If I were flipping through the channels and watched a bit of this film flat on television, I doubt I would linger very long on it, but the excellent 3-D made it a worthwhile theatrical experience. Check it out if you ever get the chance.
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