In San Francisco, the successful self-made businessman Walter Williams has just bought three factories in Denver with the approval of the board of directors. His beloved wife Irene tells him that she is not feeling well enough to travel with him, and asks Walter to give a lift to her cousin Jim Torrance. On the highway, Jim, who is actually Irene's lover, tries to kill Walter hitting his head and throwing him off a cliff, and has a fatal fiery accident while escaping driving Walter's car. Walter is believed to be the driver and later his wife is sent to jail accused of plotting his murder. Meanwhile, the wounded Walter falls asleep in a moving van and eventually winds up in Larkspur, a small town in Idaho. He is hired as a mechanic in a gas station by the owner, Marsha Peters. For three months, Walter reads the news, expecting revenge with Irene sentenced to death, and he and Marsha fall in love for each other. When Walter discloses the truth to Marsha, she convinces him to return to ...Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Ella Raines's character is a WW2 widow, saying her husband was killed in the battle of Okinawa. At the time, Raines was married to WW2 ace fighter pilot Robin Olds. See more »
The end credits list the name of the character played by Mae Marsh as "Mrs. Peters." Mae Marsh played the mother of the gas station owner. The only time the mother's name is mentioned in the film is when Walter Williams first comes to the house for supper and he calls her "Mrs. King." Marsha Peters (the gas station owner) and her mother would not have had the same last name, since Marsha explains when she first meets Walter that her husband was killed in World War II.
When this movie was made, and in the small town where this character lived, a woman would not have kept her maiden name when marrying or returned to it after being widowed. She would have remained Mrs. Peters unless she remarried. See more »
Although the final third gets in the way and is finally disappointing,it does not keep "impact" from being absorbing and entertaining.One of the rare film noirs -maybe the only one - which takes a look on the brighter side of the road:sandwiched between two very dark parts,the second one has Capra accents:the country town is some Shangri-la where time stood still ,with its very nice people ,the girl who owns a garage but of course does not know anything about mechanics(woman's lib supporters will cringe),the young father proud of his new-born son ,the Sunday service,the old lady cooking tasty little dishes.All of this is unusual in a film noir.Some might say that "shadow of a doubt"(1942) had already that ,but evil could enter this world,as the heroine 's uncle came to town.Here,the evil is elsewhere ,in San Francisco.Only in San Francisco.Or on the dark road where anything can happen:first part is effective,and shows some "Postman always rings twice" (1946) influence.
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