Losey's remake of Lang's most famous film was inevitably subjected to invidious comparisons when it was first released. The main problem, as Losey admitted ('I couldn't believe myself in the idea of the whole underworld ganging up against the killer') is the weak ending. Where Lang achieved a double knockout with Lorre's great speech in which he turns the accusation against his accusers - effecting a complete turnabout in sympathies, not just because we understand that he is helpless to combat his sickness, but because he has turned into a victim of persecution - Losey manages only a sucker punch because the setting is no longer Nazi Germany. This said, the first half of the film is excellent, with the Los Angeles locations wonderfully used as a strange and terrifying concrete jungle, and a remarkable performance from David Wayne that bears comparison with Lorre.
Cast and crew
Howard da Silva