Powell made an interesting transition from crooner to hard boiled character actor. He teams up here w/ Dmytryk who masterfully used Powell in Murder My Sweet, in this convoluted film about spies, faking your own death, etc. Big reveal of Jarnac at the end was a bit underwhelming, but otherwise this film has good noir elements throughout which makes it worth seeking out for fans of the genre. Pretty good. 3.5 stars
Intriguing post-war noir. A sickly Dick Powell stumbles from one broken country to the next, seeking a desperate blind revenge for his murdered french wife. The intensity of feeling for war crimes to be personally accounted for in the chaotic aftermath is palpable but what is also noticeable is a cautionary air in not punishing with another Treaty of Versailles and laying the seeds for future conflict.
Cornered isn't great but it isn't bad either. Dick Powell isn't particularly memorable and his character is kind of like a drunken brawler making a series of bad decisions as the complex plot chugs along. The plot, which by the way is a series of screw jobs that after a while leaves you looking at the time display on the DVD player. Cornered definitely has noir elements to it, but its not a prime example.
Edward Dmytryk's tight direction keeps this post-war noir thriller clipping along, but excellent black and white cinematography and an exotic locale can't make up for a conventional and talky plot that goes on way too long. Dick Powell is strong in the lead, but most of the supporting cast are bland cyphers. Solid Golden Age filmmaking, but not particularly memorable.