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A musician has a nightmare in which he killed a man. When he wakes up he finds evidence that the crime really took place and tries to find the truth with the help of his brother-in-law who is a police officer. Written by
Can't agree with the hypesters preceding me who have largely gushed over this one. I found McCarthy curiously hammy and over the top, as if he played the climactic "they're here! they're here!" scene from INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS start to finish in this film. The great Edward G. Robinson seems lost and hazy as the initially dubious but finally accepting cop who ultimately bails out McCarthy. Much of the hypnotism exploitation angle is hopelessly out of date and plays to unintended laughs with the "focus on the watch" chestnut dusted off by the killer on an unwary McCarthy near the end. Police procedure has rarely been as blatantly ignored as when the cop discovers Robinson and murder suspect McCarthy breaking and entering inside the murder house with a totally ridiculous story but within a minute or two not only lets them go but vows to help them when he should be calling for backup and trying to throw a butterfly net over them. Brainiac detectiving by a top cop!
On the plus side, the musical score is creepily woven into the story and the climax in the mirrored room and down by the swamp in the dark does have some goth atmosphere and mood going for it. McCarthy's goodgirl girlfriend is appealing and sympathetic. Unfortunately, there are just too many contrivances in the murder by hypnotism angle and the whole pooling of Robinson and McCarthy's resources comes off as half baked at best. Certainly this is an interesting curio for the cast and the Woolrich source material but it's lesser noir and ultimately more like a weak second feature.
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