Top critical review
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on 22 June 2017
An almost forgotten, stylish, noirish drama from 1950 given first class, bells and whistles treatment with a restored dual format release, complete with subtitles, extras and commentary track.
Anne Sheridan plays a cynical, wise-cracking wife searching for her estranged husband, who witnessed a mob killing, before he is silenced either by the mob or his dodgy ticker. She, in turn, is pursued by a fast-talking detective and a fresh reporter who both seem more interested in her than finding the husband and much sparky banter is enjoyed by all concerned. Even the family dog is brought in to ensure the sympathy of the pet loving fraternity.
It was written by Alan Campbell, who was married to Dorothy Parker (and even resorted to joining the military to escape her at one point) and he may well have taken inspiration from his own marital difficulties to paint the portrait of a disfunctional liason.
Very good tight direction from Orson Wells protege Norman Foster, an experienced "B Movie" practitioner, with great support from a team of seasoned old timers and effective use of San Francisco locations, let down a bit for me by a rather glaring plot hole but, all in all, it's an entertaining roller coaster ride and well worth discovering.
P.S. Many of these reviews, especially the negative ones, refer to older, poor quality editions and not the latest Arrow release, which is the best possible, given the print that is now available. It's not great, and Blu-Ray is probably a waste, but it's better than previous versions and the best you're going to get. We are, after all, talking about a nearly 70 year old, previously unloved and neglected "B" movie and expectations must be kept in proportion.