A man is murdered, apparently by one of a group of soldiers just out of the army. But which one? And why? (imdb)
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This might have been a fine noir, but it never recovers from the censors and script doctors. Ryan's homophobic character was turned into an anti-semite, which makes nonsense of the plot. You know, it happens all the time: one fellah invites another fellah up to his hotel room for a drink, and the first fellah tells the other fellah he's a Jew, so the other fellah goes crazy and beats him to death. Hunh? Ryan is good and creepy, Mitchum is good too, but Robert Young is weak as the detective.
Not great, but pretty good, with flashes of greatness but some stretches of mediocrity as well. The story is compelling at times, but it's not edge-of-your-seat stuff, and the anti-prejudice message is pretty preachy and only really comes into play towards the end, feeling shoehorned in. The photography is pretty nice, and the acting is uniformly good, especially Mitchum, who should've had more on-screen time. One of the better noirs I've seen, but I don't think it lives up to its reputation.
Nothing to get too excited about. In attempting to do an issues film disguised as a noir mystery thriller, it sort of does a half-hearted job at both. The message all comes flooding out at the end in a couple of eloquent but preachy speeches. The most interesting part is the theme of people wandering aimlessly through their post-war lives, but it doesn't get developed very far. Mitchum is great, the film could have used more of him. I don't care much for Ryan, but he does a pretty good job.
A very good film noir, and one that I imagine was quite edgy at the time. It can get a little preachy with its anti-antisemitic themes, but it works as a character trait to make the murderer a pretty despicable guy. Even despite the viewer knowing who it is pretty early on, Dmytryk manages to hold the tension through conflicting accounts of exactly what happened (the Rashomon effect before Rashomon), and some pretty great photography. Mitchum, Ryan, and Young are all wonderful.
Lacking in tension but decent performances.
|Average Percentile 55.87% from 256 Ratings|