Based on the 1938 crime novel If I Die Before I Wake by Sherwood King, Rita Hayworth plays a femme fatale who catches the eye of an Irish sailor in this twisted film noir. He soon finds himself implicated in a murder, despite his innocence.
This film is not currently playing on MUBI but 30 other great films are. See what's now showing
Classic noir. Directed by Orson Welles, you can’t expect much less than something imaginative cinematically, and you get far more than just that in this original take on a prominent genre of its era. It uses unsettling camera angles on unsettling characters, and creates a mood of unease. Its mirror fun house sequence is breathtaking, giving a nightmarish quality to the finale. Great filmmaking.
This is one hell of a story! A glamorous intrigue in this lust and irresistable distinguished movie, Welles gives his best plot twist scenario with the dazzling «hall of mirrors» ending. His greatest form of art happens with him on stage giving lucidity to his dreaming conquering narratives.
How can one not fall in love with the sheer visual brilliance of this film? Oh, and someday I'll write a piece on Welles' intentionally campy use of accents, casting decisions and makeup in his later films.
The fact that most of this film is now lost must be taken into consideration, what is left is quite superb. It is totally engaging, a twist around every corner, the cinemtography is truly something and although the plot ain't quite right, it is wholly satisfying. A brilliant film, 4.5/5
Despite loving Rita Hayworth and the visuals, this one leaves me a bit unsatisfied. A bit of a bored especially at the start and awkward performances throughout. The ending's good, though. It just didn't make as great impression on me as many other Film-Noir's have.
Fear. Lust. Depravity. Sharks eating each other. The insanity of asking a man to kill you. The insanity of saying yes. A marriage imploding. Stumbling through San Francisco on pills. Goodbye to Hollywood. "Please, dear god, don't ever let anyone clean it up the way 'Orson really wanted it.' It's the way he meant it already, a vital mess, like your last guts heaved up on the bed beside you." —David Thomson. 4 stars.
What a fucked up piece of noir genius! Certainly a mess, with Welles' laughable Irish accent and not terribly concerned with credibility. But, with a project Welles was not personally invested in, he felt free spin his wind-up toys out of control, especially with that eccentric supporting cast. I found the result immensely enjoyable.