|Index||4 reviews in total|
And yet another 'goodie' from the great host of that great crime serial
- with a touch of Noir, like so many times, and more concretely a touch
of James M. Cain's fabulous crime-and-passion novels. In fact, it IS
set in the detective fiction writers' milieu, enthralling the 'captive
audience' (which means not only us, but also his publisher and a young
colleague, to whom he sends the tapes describing his... story...) very
cleverly in a series of flashbacks, making us believe that we're in for
a similar story as "The Postman Always Rings Twice" or "Double
Indemnity" - but at some point (as Hitchcock's stories usually do), the
plot takes an entirely different turn...
The cast is excellent, too: James Mason as passionate as I've VERY rarely seen him, and young Angie Dickinson as the quintessential femme fatale; BUT if you want to find out about the outcome of their 'fatal affair' - see for yourself! Because we must NEVER give away the ending of a Hitchcock thriller, as we all know...
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This episode deals with a mystery writer (James Mason) who sends a tape copy of a developing story to a publisher. As the publisher and a fellow worker listen to the tapes, they begin to realize that the story teller may be providing a plot based more on fact than fiction. The mystery writer becomes involved with a married woman (Angie Dickinson) and she later tries to get her lover to kill her husband. After hesitating on the murder for hire plot, he realizes that he has been used. The publisher and the fellow worker attempt to notify the woman that her lover is out to get her. But they are too late. The mystery writer is arrested, but is left with no true ending to the story.
A publisher gets recordings from an author about what sounds like a
real life crime being planned. But is it.
The cast is the real draw here. James Mason gets to emote more than his usual courtly self, while Angie Dickinson is at the peak of her compelling allure. Together, they're kind of an odd couple, but then that fits the storyline. Also good to see ex-Charlie Chan Roland Winters, e.g. The Sky Dragon (1949), in a villainous role no less, along with the great Arnold Moss who could be really sinister, e.g. Border Incident (1949). Too bad he and Mason didn't have a face-off, since each embodies a lot of dramatic gravitas. The story generates some suspense as we wonder what Mason's recordings are up to. However, to me, the various twists and turns are too frequent and awkwardly blended to gel well. Also, it sounds like the last lines, repeated over and over, are really screenwriter Levinson's private difficulties with the story. That would certainly be different. Anyhow, for Mason fans, it's a chance to see the slickly debonair actor with his hair really mussed and looking seedy.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
***SPOILERS*** It's when murder mystery writer Warren Barrow,James
Mason, started sending audio tapes to his publisher at Medillon
Publications Victor Heartman, Arnold Moss,that he started to suspect
that Bannow was in fact turning psycho. Barrow in his tapes is telling
Hartman that he's to murder Ivar West, Roland Winters,in revenge for
the death of his wife Helen, Sara Shane, whom he holds responsible for.
It was three years ago when Barrow and his wife Helen were spending time at the French Riviera that he met the West's Ivar and his sexy wife Janet, Angie Dickerson,and in the course of the evening got very enraged at Helen for spending the entire evening drinking and gambling with Ivan! That's while Barrow spent just a few hours at the local casino with Janet who gambled all the money that Ivar gave her away. Driving back to their hotel room after making up with Helen Barrow lost control of his car that slammed into upcoming traffic killing her. It was three years later in San Francisco when Barrow was looking for material,in some beatnik like café, to write his next mystery novel he met Janet who, in telling him what a monster her husband is, talked him into killing her husband Ivar and then taking off with her. It didn't take that long to agree with Janet's plan since Barrow always had it in for Ivar in him being, in Barrow's disturbed mind, responsible for Helen's death!
What Barrow didn't seem to realize was that Janet is manipulating him into murdering her husband so she can take off with her boyfriend and Ivar's money leaving him, the perfect pasty, to end up behind bars or strapped into the San Quinten gas chamber for Ivar's murder! Barrow comes to that conclusion when he confronts Ivar himself,in his cabin, who tells him,after Barrow almost shot his head off, what a cold blooded and manipulating witch his wife Janet really is!
***SPOILERS**** With him now obsessed in finishing his new murder mystery novel, which turns out to be about Ivar and Janet West, Barrow goes to see his publisher Victor Hartman and tell him that the only way he can finish his new book is by acting out,in murdering the main character Janet West, the final chapter in it himself! Even though Barrow still had some of his marbles, he still can tell right from wrong, left him feeling that Janet was using him to murder her husband and then leave him literally hanging was just too much for him to take. Now completely out of it Barrow not caring what happens to him does in fact write that final chapter in his book, with .9mm revolver,in blood in him knowing that that's the only way he can finish it!
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