Steve Thompson returns home after a few years of knocking around the country following his divorce from good-time girl Anna. Getting his old job back driving an armored car, and not even convincing himself that he’s making a new start, he also wants his old wife back.
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SIODMAK Noir 2 ===
Fucked up plans, greedy seducers, disillusioned and obstinate cops, heroes born losers, twisted criminals, the universe of Noir according to SIODMAK. Yvonne de CARLO attracting femme fatale. === Plan foireux, séductrices cupides, flics désabusés et opiniâtres, héros born losers, malfrats tordus, l'univers du noir selon SIODMAK. Yvonne de CARLO fatale à souhait.
A fine noir from Siodmak. Nothing that transcends the form, but it ticks the boxes smoothly: fatalism, double-crosses, flashbacks, voiceover, a crime gone wrong, and a woman who's probably even bigger trouble than she seems. The heist setpiece is great, and it's always nice when something does justice to the verities. Cheers to the Aero for the whole evening—I now know how to properly pronounce "Dan Duryea."
I think Siodmak may be my favorite classic director. Criss Cross is fantastic. Another shot / reverse shot sequence punctuated by music here, like in the jam session sequence in the Phantom Lady. The ending, with the sea in the background, behind the window, is simply sublime.
Siodmak's noirs seem to much more quotidian, blue-collar and workaday than others'. For one, the "femme fatale" is trouble, yes, but she isn't conniving or manipulative - just in love. Lancaster too isn't a smooth dick in a fancy suit, but an average joe in overalls who nonetheless gets wrapped up in the fatalism of a cruel world. The ending of this one is particularly impactful in its bluntness and lack of glamour.