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No Orchids for Miss Blandish (1948)
English crime noir follows a small-time criminal's plan to violence and unexpected tragedy.
Forget the dumb title! This English Noir throws in every Hollywood cliché of the genre, and almost pulls it off smoothly. Certain plot points will remind you of some big American films, like "White Heat" and "The Asphalt Jungle", although this one came first. The "unacceptable" aspects, production code-wise, will surprise you, and the unpredictability of the plot is pretty wonderful in a film from this era. Look out for spoilers on this one! Hardworking actor Jack La Rue does nothing wrong in a role that begs for Bogart-- as so many past and present roles do.(He always reminds me of a sort of composite Bogie, Glenn Ford, and Victor Mature, especially here, without having quite their class, soul or looks, respectively.) And Linden Travers does everything she can with a practically impossible role-- you can't help but think that she could have used a little more help from director Clowes with the exposition. We don't expect noir, where style should come before substance, to be "believable" in the usual sense, but check this one out and see if it puts you in mind of how strong direction tells us what we know and can't see. If you like noir, and can roll with the punches, you'll love it.