Failed singer Marian Washburn confesses she shot her friend, successful singer Susan Caldwell, but her manager Luke Jordan and Detective Fowler doubt her story and cannot establish a reasonable motive.
Susan is in the hospital with a bullet near her heart. Marian has told the police that she shot Susan in a rage as Susan was giving up singing. Marian and Luke found Susan when she was a failure. A singer with a limited range, she was a diamond in the rough which Marian and Luke taught how to walk, dress and talk. With the singing lessons, Marian had hoped that she would have the career that Marian would have had if she had not lost her voice. Even though Susan is a scatterbrain girl, Luke does not believe that Marian would have been capable of shooting her. Luke hopes that Detective Fowler will be able to find out the truth and free Marian.Written by
Tony Fontana <email@example.com>
Nicholas Ray and Gloria Grahame met while shooting this film. They were married in Las Vegas shortly after completing the film. They chose Las Vegas because Ray loved to gamble and to allow Grahame to get a quickie divorce (after the required six weeks of residency in Nevada) from actor Stanley Clements. The day the divorced was granted, the two married. See more »
During the "incident" at the beginning of the film the shadow of the boom mike is visible in the reflection of the mirror. See more »
[to Inspector Fowler]
I've told you we're going to keep talking about this until we stumble on something or other that will clear it up.
I've known for a long time that detective work was stumbling.
[to her husband]
How come you didn't catch on?
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Opening and closing credits are displayed on a page of sheet music. See more »
Though not really a noir, this emerged a surprisingly compelling melodrama. That said, prior to its late-night Italian screening, the notoriously eccentric commentator Enrico Ghezzi stated that the film Ray's second was forced on him by Dore Schary; it is evident because, if there's an auteur at work here, it's screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz (Ray's treatment, however, is sufficiently stylish to overcome the essential impersonality with which he approached the material and, at least, through working on this film, he met future wife Gloria Grahame!).
Even if controversy still rages over Mankiewicz' exact contribution to CITIZEN KANE (1941), he gives this one a similar flashback structure; of course, comparisons to Orson Welles' magnum opus won't do Ray's more modest effort any favors, so I won't make any! Still, while not especially memorable, the film can stand on its own two feet thanks largely to a fine cast (an unusually aggressive Maureen O'Hara, the volatile Grahame, the typically cynical Melvyn Douglas, Victor Jory as a wealthy but love-struck middle-aged man, Jay C. Flippen as an understanding police inspector). By the way, amusing though it is, the film's injection of humor is rather atypical for Ray particularly in the figure of Flippen's wife, who likes to carry out her own sleuthing!
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