Joseph Cotten is a cranky fellow. You can't blame him though, because his life has essentially been hijacked. He's trying to be polite, but the demands on him are clearly out of scope. The scope creep includes being dragged around, being shot at, having beautiful women thrust on him. How is he supposed to meet his deadlines?
I wanted to love this film, but its a bit of a mess. Welles accent is atrocious, Cotten seems bored with the proceedings (tough to say that about one of my personal favs), and the butchering of the film in the editing room makes it fly by before you can really care about the characters. Sad bc it shows promise. Check out Woman On The Run for better Foster. Interesting for Welles fans/has some good photog. 2.5 stars.
It starts out wonderfully with some very off hand, naturalistic banter between Cotten and Warrick and then the fantastic club scene with Del Rio in that amazing cheetah outfit (or whatever it was). Eventually whatever cuts the studio made begin to have their effect and the film goes kind of slack and feels sort of slapdash. Still, good fun.
While Welles' fingerprints are all over this picture (so much so that I consider it an unofficial film of his alongside Jane Eyre) this thriller definitely suffers from Cotten's bland performance and the studio cutting that trimmed the film of the screenplay's quieter moments. All that's left is confused and mortal danger peppered with various moments of conversation about life during war.
Welles' shadow looms large over the entire production, and who knows if he truly did deserve a directors' credit on this one. It certainly looks and feels like a Welles film. It's a quirky, bizarre film, but one that I really enjoy. Norman Foster is an incredibly underrated noir director.