Though the story is somewhat trite, Foster's direction and Metty's high-contrast photography, as well as top-notch acting from Lancaster, Fontaine, and Newton, make this an absorbing film noir. Lancaster is a WW II veteran scarred by memories of battle, who has little regard for human life.
He gets into an argument with the owner of a pub in England and the pubkeeper is killed. Lancaster flees from the police and hides in Fontaine's room. The faint-hearted nurse believes his story about the death being an accident and takes him in. Newton, a practised criminal, recognizes Lancaster
and tries to rope him into a caper. Lancaster avoids Newton, but gets into a fight with a cop and lands in prison again. Fontaine gets him a job as a truck driver for her clinic when he is released. Newton tries to blackmail Lancaster into stealing a load of drugs to sell on the black market, but
Fontaine unexpectedly gets into Lancaster's truck on the day it will be hijacked, and Lancaster decides against going through with the plan, taking another route. Later, Fontaine is approached by the menacing Newton in her apartment, and when he threatens her, she kills him. Lancaster arrives and
decides to come clean with the police, admitting all of his criminal machinations, knowing that although he will go to prison, Fontaine will be free on grounds of justifiable homicide. Lancaster and Fontaine are solid as the star-crossed lovers; but this film is dominated by Newton, who made a
specialty of playing oily, detestable creatures, an image he brings to towering proportions here. Foster directs with a sure hand and moves the story along at a dizzying pace. Set in London--where it was shot on location--this film has the same feeling of alienation as other film noir works of the
late 1940s, chiefly NIGHT AND THE CITY with Richard Widmark.
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- Rating: NR
- Review: Though the story is somewhat trite, Foster's direction and Metty's high-contrast photography, as well as top-notch acting from Lancaster, Fontaine, and Newton, make this an absorbing film noir. Lancaster is a WW II veteran scarred by memories of battle, wh… (more)