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3.6 out of 5 stars7
3.6 out of 5 stars
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 3 February 2012
San Francisco industrial supremo, Walter Williams, survives an attempt on his life by his two-timing wife's lover, whom ironically is badly burned and killed at the scene himself. As the police think that Williams is the badly burned corpse, his wife is arrested and accused of his murder, with Williams hiding out and plotting revenge in the sleepy back water town of Larkspur, Idaho. But as Williams finds new hope and a re-evaluation in his life, he must go back and reveal all about what happened, something that may well prove to be his undoing!

Impact is directed by Arthur Lubin and stars Brian Donlevy, Ella Raines, Charles Coburn and Helen Walker. Its basic plot and story is certainly nothing new, I wont list them, but other film's such as The Postman Always Rings Twice spring to mind immediately upon finishing this smashing and enjoyable film. However, what is definitely in Impact's favour is that it's excellently acted {Donlevy and Raines a delight} and that it manages to bring about its twist without any aura of inevitability hanging over it. Sitting nicely between Noir and Drama, Impact is a film that possibly wouldn't stand up to repeat viewings, but once viewed I personally feel that it leaves a mark that is most definitely favourable, and I'm not just biased because Ella Raines is stunningly gorgeous here!!! 8/10
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VINE VOICEon 5 September 2010
This is an unusual movie, quite ahead of its time in many ways. I won't go over the plot suffice to say Brian Donlevy's character disappears and starts a new life as a car mechanic for reasons which will become obvious when you watch the movie. It has an atmosphere about it that a lot of movies do not have, and I watched it years ago wishing I could remember the title so I could buy it again and watch it at my leisure.

Anyway, if you like slightly off-the-beaten-track, and slightly obscure film noirs, you could do worse than check this out.
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on 17 June 2013
Brian Donlevy (Walter) is duped into taking his wife Helen Walker's (Irene) 'cousin' to another town. They never make it. In the only scene of any kind of impact, a car crash determines the course of this film.

The acting in this film is slightly sub-par from everyone except Helen Walker who steals the show in all her scenes. The character of Brian Donlevy hasn't been written very well. We see him as a man totally in control at work who is confident, determined and bullying. For him to be involved in a marriage where he revels in the name "Softy" is a complete nonsense, unless it was a sarcastic nickname. Experience shows that he would either be a controlling monster in his home life as well, or prone to episodes of sexual humiliation where he can relinquish control. A permanent label of "Softy" is just ridiculous. His character is slightly limp and frustrating during this film. He is NOT a softy so why does he act like one? Mechanic Ella Raines has been given absolutely no character whatsoever to explore so she comes across as rather dull. Considering that we spend over half the film in the company of these two, not surprisingly, the film drags. Charles Coburn (Lt Tom Quincy) is usually good value in any film, but he falls short by putting on an Irish accent. He can't do it convincingly and he can't maintain it. Why did he bother?

Aside from the characters, we have a very unconvincing love story between Donlevy and Raines. Not only does short, chubby Donlevy not have the looks required for a young woman like Ella, but he is from her dad's generation and would not get a look in. We also get a nice piece of Chinese racism with the characters of maid Anna May Wong (Su Lin) and her uncle Philip Ahn (Ah Sing). His name might as well be "Ah So" and both these characters spout Chinese wisdom at every opportune moment because that's what Chinese people do!

The story scores points for an interesting beginning, albeit with an annoying Donlevy leading us through the proceedings, but it then falls flat and I'm afraid we are left with not much of an impact at all. It's watchable but not recommended.
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on 21 February 2012
IMPACT (1949)
Elstree Hill DVD release 2005

Better than the average Elstree Hill quality.
Picture and sound both good in this release
Good Entertainment at a budget price
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 19 May 2014
Despite showing its age a bit, I rather liked this little noir type effort. I suppose its the premise that got to me. Walter Williams is a brash young industrialist, we see him as he sweeps into a board room telling a load of stuffed suits that he's already made the decision they're their to debate and abruptly calls the meeting to a halt. Cut to his homelife where he's an altogether different animal, besotted with his needy wife we're supposed to see his cute side; she even calls him (softy), I wasn't convinced by the set up but I happily went along with it. What we don't know is that his wife is a scheming temptress who has arranged for her lover to accommpany Walter on a road trip he's taking for business. The guy poses as her cousin and he's seriously creepy. It's not long before the cad tries to do old Walter in but he's a tough cookie and after getting the upper hand, he pulls a switch consigning the bad guy to a fiery grave in the crashing car. Realising his plight and her part in his attempted downfall, Walter ditches his old life for that of a simple country mechanic where he finds love in the arms of the wonderful Ella Raines....unfortunately, the past comes back to haunt him!
Althought it was released in 49' and being a little slower than the action blockbusters I'm used to, something about this movie just wont go away. I've watched it loads, It has a certain charm about it and is one I'll watch again soon.
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on 15 September 2013
Yes, it has to be said that this is a fairly ponderously directed and clunkily scripted film which would just about be 'ok' were it not for the presence of Ella Raines who always adds an extra star in my book. The genre is partly noir, then melodramatic 'woman's picture', then slice of sub-Capra-esque 'cherry pie' down-home Americana, then courtroom drama - it's all over the place! Brian Donlevy is not romantic lead material but it is his wealth not his chunky 'unattractiveness' that Helen Walker had in mind when marrying him. Perhaps less obvious is why Ella falls for him as she is the most gorgeous thing East of the Rockies, especially luminous in her mechanic's overalls. I guess she's just so damned decent coming from the Backwoods, not sophisticated capitalist SF, that she sees his 'qualities'. Charles Coburn is even in there as comic relief, way too old to be still on the San Francisco Homicide Squad and with an oirish accent which comes and goes like the breezes in San Francisco Bay. Also interesting as it uses some of the same locations, down to the apartment house, that Kim Novak 'lives in' in Vertigo. It's 15 minutes too long, but then again, you do get more time to watch the criminally underestimated Ella.
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on 6 March 2013
This film is a bore. The acting is average at best. The script is lousy and predictable. Brian Donlevy is a hopeless irish american actor. I recalled his face after watching five minutes of this dreadful film. Professor Quatermass in those dull hammer sci-fi films. Amongst the few hammer films I do not have as Donlevys acting is so poor it puts you off the films. Dreadful DVD quality aswell. The only good thing I can say is that the only reason I continued watching was the thought of Donlevys young screen wife Helen Walker sitting on my face.
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