In 1902 London, unhappily married Philip Marshall meets young Mary Gray, who is unemployed and depressed. Their deepening friendship, though physically innocent, is discovered by Philip's ... See full summary »
Bachelor Harry Quincey, head designer in a small-town cloth factory, lives with his selfish sisters, glamorous hypochondriac Lettie and querulous widow Hester. His developing relationship ... See full summary »
A man is found murdered, with witnesses convinced about the woman they saw leaving his apartment. However, it becomes apparent that the woman has a twin, and finding out which one is the killer seems impossible.
Olivia de Havilland,
Unhappily married Scott Henderson spends the evening on a no-name basis with a hat-wearing woman he picked up in a bar. Returning home, he finds his wife strangled and becomes the prime suspect in her murder. Every effort to establish his alibi fails; oddly no one seems to remember seeing the phantom lady (or her hat). In prison, Scott gives up hope but his faithful secretary, "Kansas," doggedly follows evanescent clues through shadowy nocturnal streets. Can she save Scott in time?Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
Contemporary sources indicate that Dave Coleman dubbed Elisha Cook Jr.'s erotic drum solo. This has been confirmed by Coleman's son. Despite this, some modern sources state that the drumming was provided by Buddy Rich, although Rich claimed to have been so busy in Hollywood at the time that he would have been unable to remember. See more »
Early in the film, the character Scott Henderson is found guilty of second-degree murder and condemned to death. In New York in the 1940s, the jury would have to find him guilty of first-degree murder in order to condemn him to death. See more »
So how did the producers get that orgasmic release scene past the censors. Sure, Carol (Raines) and Cliff (Cook) are about ten feet apart as he pounds on the drums while she sways back and forth in total sync, their faces contorted in frenzied delight. There's no guesswork here. It's as close to the real thing as the decade gets, and a masterpiece of simulated ecstasy. I wonder what the set was like while filming this.
The movie's a tight little thriller, helmed by noir master Robert Siodmak. So who is it that's framing architect Henderson (Curtis) for his wife's murder. By golly, the lovelorn Carol is going to find out even if it leads her down every dark, scary street on the studio lot. And once she dons her cheap hep-cat outfit, that's just where she's headed. But it's that frenzied jazz scene with Cliff that steals the show. Everything after seems something of an anti-climax. However, be sure to catch that beautifully modulated scene where Carol plies the emotionally disturbed Ann (Helm) for access to the incriminating ladies' hat. It's poignantly done, especially by actress Helm.
No doubt, this is one of the noir highpoints of the period, with dark symbolism and atmospheric shadows aplenty. Also, Raines gives a winning performance as the unstoppable Carol, while Tone wisely refuses to go over the top as the psychopath. On the other hand, it's a good thing we don't see much of Curtis in both a badly written and dimly performed part. I'm guessing Siodmak cared little how that particularly conventional role came across. Anyway, for fans of 40's noir, this Universal programmer remains a must-see.
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