quite beautiful cinematography. the scene where Kitty is introduced is beautiful. great composition and signalling out of characters. However I just could not stand the non stop use of flashbacks. Characteristic of noir and psychological film cycles of the 40s, but this film was infiltrated!
It seems to me that most noir films are about the search for the truth, and if and when it is found it is usually that of fatalistic betrayal, greed, and sometimes self-destruction. I loved the pervading atmosphere of dread and the exquisite cinematography of this film which highlights and comments on what the characters are experiencing. The Swede is such a compelling character (Lancaster plays him with true verve)
Citizen Kane-esque film noir. I really liked where Siodmak, Veiller, and Huston (uncredited) took Hemingway's short story. In its original form, the source is basically a Nick Adams-story, but the movie goes way beyond, adding the made-up insurance guy, Reardon, taking on the Citizen Kane newspaperman role, piecing together what brought the Swede to where he was on the page. And it's really interesting.
Siodmak is obsessed by mirrors... This is a story of phantoms and double games, with great narrative and style inventions. The sequence in which Ava Gardner makes her first apparition is stunning (the découpage, the composition of the frames, etc.). However, I prefer other Siodmak's films (for example Criss Cross).
Quintessential noir, applying the Citizen Kane structure to a series of twists that, for a noir, actually make sense. Ava Gardner's final moment is in the femme fatale hall of fame, Burt Lanchaster has the air of a fallen angel, and the heist scene is the best before Rififi, which is the best ever. Note: our gumshoe is an insurance investigator—these days, only vested financial interests bother hunting for the truth.