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 »
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,
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 »
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>
Although Franchot Tone is given top billing in this film, he does not appear for the first 45 minutes. 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 »
Top-notch "B" Noir thriller will leave you guessing
Seldom have my expectations been as often derailed as in The Phantom Lady. The plot--while a bit farfetched--is never boring or predictable. Although it's a smaller film than say, The Maltese Falcon or The Big Sleep, it is immensely satisfying.
Ella Raines is the real stand-out here. Not only is she great to look at (think half-way between Veronica Lake and Lauren Bacall) she also acts circles 'round the two leading men. Luminous, expressive yet subtle, she is perhaps a better actress than those two icons, if slightly less perfect-looking than Lake and a bit less magnetic than Bacall.
Thomas Gomez turns in a surprisingly complex and interesting performance, but don't expect too much from Franchot Tone. Although his acting abilities need no defense, he didn't do much with this role.
Sure, there are plot holes, a couple of contrived turns, and at least two ridiculous performances (Elisha Cook and Aurora Miranda) but all B Noir has its faults, and this one wins by dint of its unpredictability and pacing, and some great cinematography. Oh--and miss Raines.
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