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The Dark Corner

Fine noir thriller, superbly paced by Hathaway, equally superbly shot by Joe MacDonald, and benefiting from the Fox trademark (at this time) of location shooting. Stevens is the private eye just released from jail after being framed for murder, only to find a sinister thug tailing him and gradually driving him into a nightmare which ends with him wanted for murder all over again. Although Webb's suave villain is carried over virtually intact from Laura (complete with the manic possessiveness about beautiful women), The Dark Corner manages its own note of individuality by casting the vulnerable Stevens as a tough Sam Spade whose fa├žade is systematically cracked ('I'm backed up in a dark corner and I don't know who's hitting me') until his devoted, wisecracking secretary (Ball) has to mother him through. Terrific performances, not least from Bendix as the thug in a white suit, Downs as the dark angel of the piece, and Kreuger as a Teutonic snake.

Release details

Duration: 99 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Henry Hathaway
Screenwriter: Jay Dratler, Bernard C Schoenfeld
Cast: Mark Stevens
Lucille Ball
Clifton Webb
William Bendix
Constance Collier
Kurt Kreuger
Cathy Downs
Reed Hadley

Average User Rating

5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:1
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psnyder

I saw this film today. I'd never heard of it before, but I was drawn in. I'm a sucker for noir and for '40s American argot, which this film has in spades, especially Bendix's gangster. Good story, well-paced and focused.

psnyder

I saw this film today. I'd never heard of it before, but I was drawn in. I'm a sucker for noir and for '40s American argot, which this film has in spades, especially Bendix's gangster. Good story, well-paced and focused.