Powell's second and definitive attempt to shed his crooner image, as an ex-PoW tracking down the collaborationist responsible for his young French wife's death, is even better than Murder, My Sweet. Dispensing with the expressionistic flurries, it concentrates on bleak ambiguity (abetted by a fine cast) as the hunt goes up in Buenos Aires for a villain whom no one - not even his own wife - has ever seen (a telling metaphor for the hidden face of Fascism). As one might expect of a film whose credits carry at least four blacklist victims (Dmytryk, producer Adrian Scott, actors Adler and Carnovsky), the hard-boiled dialogue is studded with political warnings and forebodings in a manner that now looms as pleasantly period, but is in any case effortlessly carried by Harry Wild's superb noir camerawork.
Cast and crew
Dick Powell Walter Slezak Micheline Cheirel Luther Adler Morris Carnovsky Nina Vale Edgar Barrier Steven Geray