An engrossing crime thriller about a marine, Hodiak, who suffers from amnesia and is discharged from the service. His only clue to his real identity is a Los Angeles address. Once there, he unearths more clues: an angry letter from a girl unknown to him and another signed "Larry Cravat."
His search for Cravat leads him to a nightclub and a singer, Guild. Before he can get much information, he gets knocked around by two thugs, Kortner (an aging veteran of German silents) and Nova (a real-life boxer with a short career in the movies). Hodiak hides out with Guild in her apartment and
receives some help in his search from nightclub owner Conte and police detective Nolan. Hodiak's investigating leads him to Stevenson, a witness to a murder that Cravat committed. Stevenson tells him that a briefcase is hidden under a dock in San Pedro. Hodiak and Guild locate the money-filled
case, but, in the process, Hodiak realizes that he is really Cravat. Conte helps the pair escape when gunfire begins to fill the air. Hodiak's confusion begins to clear as he remembers that he was once partners with Conte and that Conte is really the killer. Hodiak lures Conte into a trap and in a
final battle Nolan shoots and kills Conte. Having found his true identity, Hodiak is left to start anew with sweetheart Guild. Although the plot is convoluted, Mankiewicz's direction moves it all along at a feverish pace, adding some stylistic touches such as the military doctors and nurses
speaking directly into the camera, allowing the audience to share the point of view with Hodiak. The film's most glaring minus is the wooden Guild in a standard performance that could have been handled by any of a hundred mediocre Hollywood starlets. This was her debut role, and Fox gave her a big
push, informing the anxious millions that "Guild rhymes with Wild." She even sings, delivering the forgettable "Middle of Nowhere," which is just where her career was headed.
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- Rating: NR
- Review: An engrossing crime thriller about a marine, Hodiak, who suffers from amnesia and is discharged from the service. His only clue to his real identity is a Los Angeles address. Once there, he unearths more clues: an angry letter from a girl unknown to him an… (more)