Frank Bigelow, told he's been poisoned and has only a few days to live, tries to find out who killed him and why.Frank Bigelow, told he's been poisoned and has only a few days to live, tries to find out who killed him and why.Frank Bigelow, told he's been poisoned and has only a few days to live, tries to find out who killed him and why.
It starts with a bang, O'Brien staggering into the local homicide unit to tell the cops that there's been a murder - his, before launching into the massive flash-back which takes up pretty much the rest of the movie. The action from there on is hectic and as convoluted as all the best noirs are as O'Brien, infected by a deadly poison, races against the clock to track down his own killer and the reason behind it.
The film makes fine use of actual San Francisco and Los Angeles locations as well as authentically depicting the hot and steamy atmosphere at a Frisco jazz club. O'Brien is great as the doomed Bigelow, racing, often literally, against the clock, stopping only to palm off his adoring secretary girl-friend, Pamela Britten, who of course doesn't find out what's wrong with him until too late.
The pacing is almost non-stop once it gathers momentum, unfortunately when it does, some of the scene-writing gets over-ripe and correspondingly over-acted as O'Brien and his girl pour out their hearts somewhat unnecessarily. The film ends bravely though with a downbeat conclusion, delivering what the title says it must and at least tying up all the loose ends by that time.
- Apr 13, 2011