Drifter Frank Chambers arrives at a quiet California roadside restaurant where he meets and falls for drop-dead gorgeous Cora, the wife of restaurant owner Nick Smith. After weaseling his way into a job, the two begin a deadly love affair and cook up plans to end her marriage and start a new life together. After a few botched attempts at a clean break, they are forced to put their honeymoon on hold after being rerouted into the arms of a D.A. hot to convict and a corrupt lawyer with designs on Cora. Frank and Cora thought they packed just enough luck to avoid what should be unavoidable but the duo failed to account for the possible intervention of a formidable force that doesn't need a badge.Written by
Garfield and Turner are terrific...steamy version of the James M. Cain novel is still the best...
Someone previously questioned the meaning of the title. In my view, it refers to the double twist imposed on the story's ending by the author--especially once the legal wrangling between opposing lawyers (near the conclusion) is exposed. Then, finally, after winning a victory of sorts, the unexpected happens--thus, the irony of the title. Anyway, this is as good as it gets--you won't find a better version of this story than this 1946 film. I'm always amused to read that someone on these posts "never looks at black-and-white films", a total putdown of all the great classics that came before color was even possible. How dumb can you get? For fans of complex, hard-bitten murder yarns with gritty background and suspense that tightens slowly like a knot, this is for you. Watch as the two leads get more and more entangled in their own web of deception and lies. Turner established herself as a strong actress who could play a role to the hilt when she identified with it. Garfield, of course, was always at his best in tough guy roles. Watch for my article on Lana Turner in an upcoming issue of FILMS OF THE GOLDEN AGE--much of the inspiration for it came from this particular film noir.
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