Hodiak as a marine blown up at Okinawa who returns to Los Angeles armed only with a name that means nothing to him and a letter from a girl, now dead, who hated him. Out of this familiar premise, Mankiewicz has fashioned a classic film noir account of the amnesiac who suspects he isn't going to like rediscovering the man he once was. His odyssey in quest of himself leads through a long dark night with murder and a missing $2 million dollars at the end of it, peopled along the way by the lost and the lonely, the suave and the sinister (wonderful supporting performances) and taking in a series of suitably clammy settings (waterfront fortune-telling parlour, mission hall, sanatorium for the insane). Mankiewicz's superb control of a complex plot (as both writer and director) takes him into at least one outstanding set piece: an elaborate nightclub sequence in which Hodiak questions a bartender, the latter casually tips off two hoods, a bowl of pretzels is slipped down the bar to identify the target, and just as something is about to explode, the lights dim as the band strikes up a new number...
Cast and crew
|Director:||Joseph L Mankiewicz|
|Screenwriter:||Howard Dimsdale, Joseph L Mankiewicz, Lee Strasberg|