Reviews written by registered user
|4 reviews in total|
This is an odd attempt by the great Jean Renoir to make a film noir. The script is not so good, but visually this film is dynamite, with wonderful photograpy by Leo Tover and Harry J Wild. Renoir did extensive retakes of many scenes, but was unable to get it right, unfortunately the film was severly cut by RKO for being too sensual and provocative. Whats left is great, a tormented husband, his unfaithful wife and her lover, who isnt convinced the husband is blind. The story is made dramtic by Renoir, and his careful direction makes the rather badly written characters interesting. The acting by Robert Ryan and Joan Bennett is very exellent, and Charles Bickford is both brutal and sensitive as the husband. The film has dramatic music by Hanns Eisler and despite having laughable dialogue in some scenes it is definately worth watching. The work of a great cinematic artist.
This is a fasinating example of film noir elements grafted on to an
crime thriller, there is also romance between Robert Taylor and Ava
but thats a weaker part of the story. Taylor is to wooden in his role as a
federal agent, Robert Mitchum would have been more suitable for this kind
film. But there are som nice noir caracters in the supporting roles, and
director Robert Z Leonard contrasts effectivly the down at the heel
with the surface glitter of the big town criminals who move trough it,
giving the film a glossy look that at the same time is filled with an
atmosphere of moral corruption. Ava Gardner is very beatiful in this early
role, and she makes the most of it, Charles Laughton is very good as the
henchman, oily and treacherous, he creats a fasinating character of a small
role, a sort of unshaven Quasimodo, who sweats a lot and have trouble with
sour feets. He is both human, weak and repulsive at the same time. Vincent
Price is the suave villain, his playboy sportsman is both naive and evil
more icy than most of his roles of this kind, and he gives a fine
performance. John Hodiak is a broken down ex-pilot, with alcoholic
a small role but well played. All these supporting players give the film a
definite noir feeling, as well as Joseph Ruttenbergs moody graphics and
Miklos Rozas score, also telling the story in flashback with Taylor
narrating while recovering from beeing druged, gives the story a feeling of
defeat and betrayal. The settings are dirty and seedy and the climate
steamy, and the usual glossy high MGM production values, gives the footage
feeling of tropical heat. The story is a little slow moving, but the final
shot-out between Taylor and villain Price during a carnival, is stylish and
intersting as the element of death and joy are effectivley juxtaposed.
This is not an adventure film as the title might suggest, but a slow moving melodrama, with some good scenes. The film was made independentley in France, and from the beginning there was to have been two versions, one english and one frenchspeaking. Director Robert Florey, was hired to helm the frenchspeaking version, but it was never made. Instead Florey stayed on as uncredited assistant director to William Marshall, some scenes show his influence, and he directed most of the final dockside fight. It was also Florey who brought in actors Victor Francen and Jim Gerald, as well as art director Eugene Lourie to the project. The film is good to look at, photography(by Marcel Grignon) and settings are intriguing, but the direction is to slow to really keep intrest, but a few scenes near the end are well made. The acting is ok, Agnes Moorehead gives a fine performence, and Errol Flynn is interesting as a rough seacaptain, a toned down role in comparision with Micheline Presles flambouyant creole girl. Vincent Price is properly slimy as a spineless dandy and Victor Francen is seen to briefley as his grim uncle. The story is very old fashioned, a little "Monte Cristoish" in style, and have some curiosity value. This film must unfortenatly go down as a missed opportunity, although an interesting one, like Vincent Price later said: this should have been a very good film". Altough the film has flaws, its visually interesting also the music by Rene Cloerc has its moments. if you like oldfashioned, romantic melodramas, this could be worth watching and the final scene is inspired.
A remake of Marcel Carnes French film Le Jour Se Leve, with excellent performancies, Henry Fonda is very good in the leading role and Vincent Price at his smarmiest. Barbara Bel Geddes makes a very good debut as movie actress. The director Anatole Litvak have done the film with great flair, it has a nice feel to it and is interesting and dramatic. I think this film is very underrated and should receive more attention than it does, Sol Politos camerawork is very interesting and give some scenes a claustrophobic feeling with his use of light and shadow. If you like atmospheric, dramatic noir dramas I can recommend this one.