There are pictures out there clearly undeserving of a Best Picture award, like 'The Greatest Show on Earth'. Well, this one mysteriously won Best Cinematography. I have rarely seen such pedestrian work. This is TV show quality. The acting is bad. The voice over is annoying. This is no film noir.
New York cops unravel a murder. Very believable tale with lots of sociological comments. The most notable aspect is that the narrator tells the viewer who made the film--the director, the actors, the scriptwriters, etc., and the real inhabitants of the city. The narrator states an important fact--the entire film was shot outside the film studios. Structurally, very close to what Aristotle would have approved.
Dassin è sicuramente uno dei migliori (e per certi versi più "moderni") autori di noir. Se si sorvola sull'invadente voce off che commenta in modo fastidioso ogni secondo, lo sviluppo è una goduria, il finale emoziona e New York si conferma ancora una volta come protagonista aggiunta vincente in tutti i film in essa ambientati
La intención documental activamente cruda y proto verité tiene la suficiente fuerza como para elevar a este hard boiled estandar a la categoría de clásico. Las calles de NY respiran mejor que la insulsa línea argumentativa, a excepción de unos momentos donde la mano de J. Dassin realmente logra destacarse, como en la persecución final que tuvo su actualización necesaria en The French Connection. Weegee lo hizo mejor.
Plays like the long lost pilot episode of TV's Law & Order. The story and the way it establishes characters and incidents through happenstance - creating in the process a clear chain of events - is compelling, but the wooden performances and rickety studio interiors are at odds with Dassin's pursuit of gritty actuality and docu-drama style realism. Nonetheless, the procedural and its outcome remain entirely engaging.
Despite all the problems (forgettable actors, the god-awful soap opera happening with one of the police officers, the narration that underlines the events too much), Dassin's take on a NYC police procedural is undoubtedly impressive. It's priceless to see how the 1940s locations are utilized, and the dichotomy between respectability and the blonde woman being murdered in her apartment is especially striking.
The New York shots and bit player cutaways would've been interesting in the way Linklater's Slacker was interesting but mixing them in willy-nilly with the actual narrative piece watered both down for me. It felt like I was flicking between channels the entire time.