Edward G. Robinson's performance stands as one of a handful that can honestly be called the greatest of all-time; one of the richest, most complex characterizations ever - ranging from pathetic to sinister, comic to tragic (sometimes even within a single scene). The fact that he was never nominated for an Oscar (especially seeing this, Key Largo, and Double Indemnity) shines a dubious light on the Academy's history.
Every character is both a victim and a hangman: everyone is guilty, yet we love them all. Tragedy at its maximum dramatic complexity and emotional devastation. Illusions, masks, change of identities, corruption, love, humilliation, revenge, guilt, impotence, art, masculinity, violence. Lang, the pessimist, condemns everyone. Even the dead torment the living. Pure metaphysical ressonance: the Horror of Evil in men.
Masterfully subversive film which begins as a comedy and gradually turns dark, cynical, violent, and tormented. The last few minutes went a little overboard in making the point, but everything else, right down to the expressionist artwork by John Decker, is perfect.
Life is doomed for someone who puts passion above reason. Edward G. Robinson once more plays with perfection the sap in love with Joan Bennet. Fate and circumstances are so cruel to him that, even when he does things wrong, one can only feel a deep compassion towards him.
Edward G. Robinson stars as a henpecked cashier who one night thinks he is rescuing a woman from a mugger on the street. He is instantly taken with her, but her "attacker" turns out to be the woman's boyfriend, and together they hatch a plan to extort thousands from the smitten good Samaritan. A deliciously pulpy film noir, and surprisingly racy for its time (it was banned in several states).
Una sensacional película donde el azar y la fatalidad campean a sus anchas en el devenir de unos personajes desdichados. Los giros de guión son absolutamente soberbios e impredecibles. Definitivamente es una película a reivindicar. Una joya del cine negro que, a mi entender, no goza del prestigio que se merece.
Really? (I'm talking to the people who posted below.) I thought this was one of the worst noirs I've seen. It offers no characters, only caricatures -- who are subjected to some of the most ridiculous plot contrivances. 'The Woman in the Window' was a much better and richer film.
Robinson shines as Chris Cross, a lonely and desperate man taken in by a dangerous woman and driven to the ultimate extreme. However the film just doesn't add up. It's too slow and meandering, and lacks the visual or emotional intensity usual in Lang's films. Also Joan Bennett was slightly miscast, she isn't convincing. The last twenty minutes floored me though, it's what the film should have been.