An intriguing set of variables: the 'sins of the past' crime movie meets doomy romance in Middle America. Career thief Cotten lodges with small town widow Byington while targeting wheelchair-bound heiress Valli as a marriage prospect, surmising her handicap might make her potentially receptive to his sweet talking advances. With the casting chemistry from The Third Man at work again, however, his emotions are soon playing it for real, though his professional vanity can't resist the lure of one last casino heist. A lacklustre third act puts the damper on an otherwise modestly individual saga of redemption, and if Cotten's performance is perhaps too low key for its own good, Valli brings smouldering complexity to her sketchily written role. Flaws notwithstanding, it insinuates into the memory.
Cast and crew
Joseph Cotton Alida Valli Spring Byington Paul Stewart Jack Paar Jeff Donnell John McIntire Howard Petrie Frank Puglia