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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Which gives you the insane privilege to blow people to bits?
Cornered is directed by Edward Dmytryk and adapted to screenplay by John Paxton from a story by John Wexley. It stars Dick Powell, Walter Slezak and Micheline Cheirel. Music is by Roy Webb and cinematography by Harry J. Wild.

Story is set at the end of World War II and finds Powell as demobbed Canadian flier Laurence Gerard who returns to France to discover who...
Published on 22 Aug 2011 by Spike Owen

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "Revenge? What kind of a political programme is that?"
A very unfestive Christmas Day release in 1945, Edward Dmytryk's Cornered may be the first Nazi-hunting thriller, with Dick Powell's traumatised war veteran obsessively tracking down the French collaborator who murdered his French wife to Buenos Aires with all the subtlety of a bull in a China shop, more hindered than helped by Walter Slezak's duplicitous `professional...
Published on 28 May 2011 by Trevor Willsmer


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Which gives you the insane privilege to blow people to bits?, 22 Aug 2011
By 
Spike Owen "John Rouse Merriott Chard" (Birmingham, England.) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Cornered [DVD] (DVD)
Cornered is directed by Edward Dmytryk and adapted to screenplay by John Paxton from a story by John Wexley. It stars Dick Powell, Walter Slezak and Micheline Cheirel. Music is by Roy Webb and cinematography by Harry J. Wild.

Story is set at the end of World War II and finds Powell as demobbed Canadian flier Laurence Gerard who returns to France to discover who ordered the killing of a group of French Resistance fighters, one of which was his new bride. Learning from his father-in-law that it was a Vichy collaborator named Marcel Jarnac, Gerard refuses to believe the rumour that Jarnac is dead and sets off on a trail that will lead him to Argentina where it soon becomes evident that Fascism is alive and well.

From the off Powell's intense miserablist Laurence Gerard sets the tone for Dmytryk's no-nonsense picture. Mood is set at revenge bleak and spills over into a humourless detective picture with huge anti-fascist leanings. As Gerard snakes his way from France to Argentina, via Switzerland, and heavy with a black heart, he encounters a myriad of shifty characters and traverses what would become a roll call of film noir locations such as dark streets, alleys and low lighted rooms. Wedge in some murder and grim violence and Cornered clearly isn't a film for those in need of a pick me up! It's also a twisty narrative, a plot that demands the utmost attention to follow what is going on. But that attention is rewarded with a spiky script that lets the number of characters really come to life, especially Gerard, who reels off a number of cutting remarks befitting his gait. Dmytryk (Farewell My Lovely/Crossfire) and Wild (Pitfall/The Big Steal) shoot it mostly as night time set-ups, thus enforcing the murky atmosphere, and Webb's musical accompaniment carries with it a ticking time bomb effect.

Powell (also Farewell My Lovely/Pitfall) and Slezak (Lifeboat/Born To Kill) shine in a cast list of mostly unknowns or stock character actors. The former broods convincingly, the latter is the epitome of sweaty untrust. But there are some fine performances in the support slots, notably from Nina Vale as slinky femme fatale in waiting, Señora Camargo, of whom little is known since her film career numbers only three. While Luther Adler (D.O.A./Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye), in the early throes of his career, menacingly strolls into the picture for the last quarter. Good stuff and recommended with confidence to film fans who enjoy some grit and blackness in their viewing diets. 8/10
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "Revenge? What kind of a political programme is that?", 28 May 2011
By 
Trevor Willsmer (London, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Cornered [DVD] (DVD)
A very unfestive Christmas Day release in 1945, Edward Dmytryk's Cornered may be the first Nazi-hunting thriller, with Dick Powell's traumatised war veteran obsessively tracking down the French collaborator who murdered his French wife to Buenos Aires with all the subtlety of a bull in a China shop, more hindered than helped by Walter Slezak's duplicitous `professional guide' and Micheline Cheirel's femme-not-so-fatal who may be a bad girl acting good or a good girl mistaken for a bad one along the way. Like the later Key Largo, it's one of those films that makes the case for ongoing vigilance rather than complacency at the war's end, which rather backfired on Dmytryk when he briefly found himself in jail as one of the Hollywood Ten. As such it's very much of its time, but in Powell it has an intriguingly flawed hero who isn't quite the tarnished knight errant his Philip Marlowe was nor the doomed victim of circumstance of the average noir, but someone who doesn't care how much damage he does to the good guys as well as the bad guys as long as he gets his revenge. He doesn't even learn his lesson, overstepping the mark in the final scene so much that things resolve themselves more by accident than design. It's not top-notch noir by any means, but there's plenty to keep things interesting, from a scene in a railway station where plot revelations are constantly interrupted by the roar of passing trains that bring on Powell's migraines to an almost literally faceless villain with a penchant for faking his own death who sneers from the shadows at Powell's `empty' fanaticism for revenge: "What kind of a political programme is that?"
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5.0 out of 5 stars Film Noir, 1 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Cornered [DVD] (DVD)
Dick Powell was known for his musical talent but he was also an excellent straight actor. If you like film noir movies then you will enjoy this.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Alright noir, 29 Nov 2012
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This review is from: Cornered [DVD] (DVD)
Not a great film but Dick Powell was always good value for money. Its just the film is a bit too stagey and the villain not prominent enough until near the end.
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Cornered [DVD]
Cornered [DVD] by Edward Dmytryk (DVD - 2011)
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