A neat thriller, despite getting itself a little hung up on the contemporary vogue for documentary trimmings. The opening sequences, set in Boston for a change and magnificently shot by John Alton, are classic film noir, detailing the circumstances leading inexorably to the murder of Jan Sterling, a girl on the make and not above a bit of blackmail. Next comes the police procedural bit, featuring a didactic (but not uninteresting and cleverly integrated) sequence set in the Harvard Department of Legal Medicine. The temperature never fully recovers, although Sturges handles the rest (caught up in his own lies, the wrong man (Thompson) lands in the net; stoutly maintaining his innocence, his wife (Forrest) gets increasingly distraught; sympathetic cop (Montalban) begins to wonder if he could possibly have got it all wrong) with considerable deftness and some subtlety. Nice performances, too, especially from Montalban as the zealous but still self-questioning cop, while Elsa Lanchester revels in one of her inimitably batty, gin-swilling landladies.
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||Sydney Boehm, Richard Brooks|