Mike Lambert, unemployed mining engineer, arrives in a small town with a bang when the brakes fail on the truck he's driving. After meeting seductive Paula at the La Paloma Cafe, he finds himself in trouble with the law. On the basis of a few burning glances, Paula pays his fine and finds him a room, but her motives are not what they seem. Mike lucks into a job with miner Jeff Cunningham, but against his will he's drawn ever deeper into Paula's schemes.Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
Neglected little gem showcases Janis Carter as femme fatale
Janis Carter boasted a largely undistinguished filmography from the 1940s but she deserved (as so many of her female peers from this era did) better parts and greater exposure. As the scheming and duplicitous Paula Craig, she personifies the cool blonde bombshell (while her line readings are a wee bit stilted, her body language is instinctive and sensational). She's the spider into whose web drifts Glenn Ford, an out-of-work mining engineer with a bit of an alcohol problem who's looking for a break. Meanwhile, Carter's on the lookout for her embezzling boyfriend's lookalike, to furnish a warm body to provide a charred corpse. This is James M. Cain territory, and, though we've been through it with Barbara Stanwyck and Fred McMurray and with Lana Turner and John Garfield, this effort by Carter and Ford deserves more prominence; its writing, direction and cinematography are all well above average. One unique moment: a banner head in the local newspaper lets us know that one of the characters has been charged with murder, but just below it, in the mock-up, is the smaller headline "Meteorite lands near baby." I think they made that movie, too, about 10 years later.
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