While hunting down the killer of a fellow policeman, veteran detective Jim Wilson grows increasingly morose and violent, causing his more even-tempered partners, Bill “Pop” Daly and Pete Santos, concern.
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"Desire" list: In the more Griffith-like Nicholas Ray movie, where the wonderful Ida Lupino approaches, in pathos and acting, the one by Lillian Gish in "Way Down East", which means the highest state of poeticity, Robert Ryan, plays one of his most fragile characters, that becomes him so well, is almost like an unavoidable figuration of the actor persona, who forever i will remember with this beautiful inconstancy.
Pugilistic, emotionally dead city cop Jim Wilson (Ryan) is reborn on an assignment in the snowy wilderness by his encounter with blind Mary Malden (Lupino). Beautifully judged by the great Nick Ray, with fine performances from the leads and a piquent score by Herrmann. But the key thing is that it is probably as close as cinema will ever get to the redemptive joy of Dostoyevsky, or the Tolstoy of "Resurrection".
What's the definition of a classic? A story in which nothing needs to be added or subtracted. This melancholy winter mood piece showcases Robert Ryan's finest performance as a bitter, cynical cop, Ida Lupino's touching portrayal of a lonely blind woman, and Bernard Herrmann's passionate score (his own personal favorite of his career.) Easily Nick Ray's greatest film.
Unique film noir from director Nicholas Ray, with psychologically complex characters and innovative camerawork and location photography. It's awkwardly plotted and awkwardly paced, but still definitely worth seeking out for film noir fans. Excellent score by Bernard Herrmann.
Herrmann delivers an incredibly memorable score. Ryan, who is just so good so often, as a sadistic cop has some real menacing moments.The pioneering use of handheld cameras to give this one a feel like the audience is really in the film, makes this an easy film to recommend to any noir lover, or someone delving into the sometimes under appreciated career of Nicholas Ray.
"Sometimes people who are never alone are the loneliest." Like N. Ray's other noir masterwork 'In a Lonely Place', Bogart in that picture along with Robert Ryan's character in this one are both men who are skilled at their professions, yet plagued with inner demons. In this, all central males have tendancies for violence, whether it be Wilson's cynicism, the father's need for justice, or Danny's mental instability.
Not much is delivered at the end, with it's main premise seeming a bit unconvincing. But, the ride as whole is filled with variety of characterization and filming novelties presenting itself in an interesting ying yang film setting.