Those who wish to place Otto Preminger in the pantheon of great film auteurs can certainly point to this stylish film as a splendid example of the director's talent at its prime during his Twentieth Century Fox contract years before he became famous as the self-promoting independent director/producer of controversial, censorship-busting films. Back in 1945, however, he had the good fortune to be surrounded by many of the best technicians Daryl Zanuck had hired --foremost among them here, the staff cinematographer Joe LaShelle (Oscar for "Laura") whose shadowy lighting and inventive long moving camera takes add enormously to the "noir" atmosphere of this film. As always, there is no way to tell whether LaShelle or Preminger came up with these unusual images, but they are exceptionally effective.bWhat's more, the film is perfectly cast down to the smallest role: Linda Darnell is particularly effective as the slutty tough girl who knows what she wants; and middle-aged Alice Faye, having put on a little weight since her Don Ameche musical days, looks and acts exactly like a lonely and desperate small-town woman who can't help loving the wrong man. Unfortunately, the screenplay has even more holes in it than the average swiss-cheese film noir of its day. Andrews enters the scene as an obvious drifter and con man and does nothing from then on to change anyone's opinion of him. Despite his lack of money and sleaziness, we are asked to believe that no woman, however pious or promiscuous, can resist him. If you are willing to suspend lots and lots of disbelief, this film has many wonderful atmospheric moments expertedly staged by the Viennese director Today, lots of people think of Preminger as the consummate cinematic con-artist. In this film, for once, the artist outweighed the con.