A bank heist yields $210,000. Soon, sultry Lona McLane, girlfriend of one of the robbers, meets Paul Sheridan and has a torrid affair. When she finds out Paul's a cop, to save herself she sets out to corrupt him. He's a pushover. But it won't be easy for Paul to get his hands on the money when he's part of a complex, peeping-tom stakeout. Soon, he's in much deeper than he'd planned, amid atmospheric night scenes. Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This film is especially notable as being the first film of Kim Novak. She is already a sizzler, from her very first scenes. The camera loves her, and her career from this point on was inevitable. It was only the next year that she set all the men of America afire by her sensuous role in Bill Inge's 'Picnic', opposite William Holden. High cheekbones never hurt a gal in films, and as Kim Novak must be of Czech descent judging from her name, we have here the classic Slav look. It wasn't long before 'Vertigo' and by then, Kim Novak had become an icon, which she remains to this day. Fred MacMurray is the leading man in this film, excellent as usual but really too old for someone like Novak to fall in love with at first sight as called for in this story. Oh well, that's casting for you. Dorothy Malone appears in this as a sweetie. The film is gripping, at the tail end of noir, a mixture of crime, cops, and mystery. The post-War mood of sombre brooding is ending, things are lightening up a bit, and crime and corruption are no longer seen as an intrusive Dark Hand of Doom but as eruptions into daily life of natural human impulses of greed, lust, and evil, which are as spontaneous as barbecues are in summer in Texas. These things 'just happen', and an end of the world scenario of being engulfed by wickedness is now seen more prosaically as 'oh no, not another crook and another crime!' As crime keeps on happening, you kind of get used to it, and films like this take on an air of 'here we go again'. So it is no longer brooding atmosphere but gripping intrigue which makes the movies work by the mid-1950s.
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