6.8/10
1,577
40 user 20 critic

Cornered (1945)

Canadian flyer Laurence Gerard finds that his wife has been murdered by a French collaborator. His quest for justice leads him to Switzerland and Argentina.

Director:

Edward Dmytryk

Writers:

John Paxton (screenplay), John Wexley (story and adaptation)
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Dick Powell ... Laurence Gerard
Walter Slezak ... Melchior Incza
Micheline Cheirel ... Mme. Madeleine Jarnac
Nina Vale ... Señora Camargo
Morris Carnovsky ... Manuel Santana
Edgar Barrier ... DuBois, Insurance Man
Steven Geray ... Señor Tomas Camargo
Jack La Rue ... Diego, Hotel Valet (as Jack LaRue)
Gregory Gaye ... Perchon, Belgian Banker (as Gregory Gay)
Luther Adler ... 'Marcel Jarnac'
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Storyline

On being demobbed at the end of the war, Canadian flyer Laurence Gerard returns to France to discover who ordered the killing of a group of Resistence fighters including his new bride. He identifies Vichy collaborator Marcel Jarnac, who is reported as dead himself. Not believing this, Gerard follows the trail to Argentina where it is apparent that Nazism is also far from dead. Written by Jeremy Perkins <jwp@aber.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish | French

Release Date:

11 March 1946 (Argentina) See more »

Also Known As:

Acorralado See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The second and last collaboration between Dick Powell and director Edward Dmytryk. Along with Murder, My Sweet (1944), these films transformed Powell's image from that of a light song-and-dance man into a serious "tough guy" actor. See more »

Goofs

The transporter bridge can be seen through the window of the Marseilles police officer's office. The bridge was partially destroyed in 1944 and the rest fell down in 1945. See more »

Quotes

Perchon, German Banker: The gun is unnecessary, this is a friendly meeting.
Laurence Gerard: Just want to be sure I'm chairman
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Crossfire (1947) See more »

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User Reviews

Dick Powell stops at nothing to corner the rat that killed his wife...
15 February 2007 | by RJBurke1942See all my reviews

Dick Powell was one of those classic Hollywood actors who was so laid back, so cool, so quick with the one-liner that he made most other actors seem positively dull. Even in the tightest of corners, he could always manage a suitable quip – and in this outing (as Laurence Gerard), he has his fair share...

He's ably supported by Walter Slezak (as Melcior Incza – what a name!) who once again plays a double-dealing con artist always looking for the main chance – in this case, trying to make a few more dishonest bucks helping – or is he hindering? -- Gerard track down the dirty traitor Marcel Jarnac (a short but fine performance from Luther Adler) who is responsible for Gerard's wife's death in France towards the end of World War II.

So, the quest in on. Along the way, Gerard travels from London, to France, to Switzerland and finally to Argentina where he finally begins his search in earnest. From that point until the end, the twists and turns in the plot remind me of the confusion that permeated The Big Sleep (1946). Cornered, however, does arrive at a satisfactory conclusion, unlike the Bogart classic which still puzzles viewers today (I've read that even Bogart remained unclear about the plot of The Big Sleep also).

However, back to this one...

Overall, I liked this film for its great use of darkness, shadows, excellent mise-en-scene, as befitting film-noir, and the sharp dialog; I thought, however, the pacing of the story was a bit slow at times and that some of the cuts were often very jerky, thus resulting in uneven narrative transitions. And the really big omission is the absence of an effective femme fatale. The rest of the production was okay and, for 1945, was equal to other B-movies of the genre.

Dick Powell went on to do more film noir (Johnny O'Clock, Pitfall, Rogues' Regiment and others) until 1954 when he opted for the emerging TV juggernaut. So, if you've missed this one up till now, it's worth the 102 minutes out of your life just to listen to Dick Powell and watch him grimace while he cracks sardonic jokes...


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