Screenwriter Dixon Steele, faced with the odious task of scripting a trashy bestseller, has hat-check girl Mildred Atkinson tell him the story in her own words. Later that night, Mildred is murdered and Steele is a prime suspect; his record of belligerence when angry tells against him.
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Ray delivers a masterful film, an uncompromising and flawless noir that can be peeled like an onion each time you revisit it. The actors play their parts as if they were made for the roles, and the set design full of Hollywood dread is perfection.
A wonderful film with the simplest of plots. Bad angry man, with previous, however, also a man with the potential to care for those who others find it easier to avoid. Excellent performances from both leads, and just like Gloria says, if only that call had come a day earlier. Lush.
A war hero benighted In the Hollywood Hall of mirrors where Actors act as actors, agents and story-guys in a claustrophobic set of apartments that combine the sunny paranoia of Patrick McGoohan's prison village and a Max Escher drawing. Is Bogart, Bogart or is he just another weary warrior choking on glitter and flotsam, treading water in an eddy pool,one step away from havoc?
A darkness and violence unseen in conventional golden age Hollywood. Typical Hollywood formalities exist with the sharp snappy dialogue, but are periodically broken down. Light upbeat scenes are quickly contrasted with sharp turns of violence in a lovely dark noir cinematography. A seemingly camp ending is also overturned in a ravenous twist. Among the greatest noirs although a bit underrated.
Rogart, Ray, Grahame, a noir backdrop, and a complex love story (that wisely overshadows the murder mystery) combine into an excellent drama. The script and cynical look at Hollywood further adds to the quality of a film that is one of Ray & Bogie's best.
Lessons of love in the hard way between an irascible and violent screenwriter, and his soon to be wife. One of the most romantic and devastating noirs. It has Memorable dialogue every two or three sentences.