"This is not a costume ignorant wench, this is the formal attire of a gentleman." One of the greatest lines in film history. A noir that handles its subject manner with such ease and finesse, it's a marvel it doesn't come off condescending or ludicrous at any moment. Boasting perhaps Bogart's finest performance as well.
A quintessential Bogart/Ray noir. Suspicion and suspense are artfully crafted in a showbiz milieu. All of the tropes of noir are present - the femme fatale, the disaffected and alienated anti-hero, cadavers, the detective agency context, urban setting, a convoluted narrative, a subverted American Dream, distinctive iconography such as Venetian blinds and accented lighting. It's a delectable slice of stylish dystopia.
oh dear, i love the decision to pick more attention to human's relationship, characteristic and love than the murder itself, i guess that is why ray is an exceptional director, always the troubled loners. and oh yeah, bogart is such a fine bastard in this. bogart's finest.
Great Bogart vehicle mixing the film noir genre with the navel gazing Hollywood insider tell all with great results. Bogart plays a somewhat washed up script writer suspected of murder who remains a cypher not only to the viewer but to the characters he shares the screen with. Gloria Grahame is just great here as the distrustful girlfriend who recognizes the beast just under the surface. Top notch.
A great film, which, like "Red River" three years before, takes an accepted star persona and inflects it with menace, but -crucially- a menace derived from the darker side of the recognised persona. Dixon Steele is not so different from Rick Blaine, Philip Marlowe or Harry Morgan as we would like to believe.