Wednesday 08 April 1998
Reviewing this quintessential film noir, Ryan Gilbey announced his decision to become Robert Mitchum for the rest of the year. Without wishing to cast aspersions on an esteemed fellow traveller, the words "fat" and "chance" spring to mind. Mean to the marrow, Mitchum held a master's degree in not giving a damn and this was a picture that registered his trademark. In a typically byzantine plot of bluffing and double-crossing, he's hired by scheming Kirk Douglas to track down his missing moll Jane Greer who had the bad taste to a) shoot him and b) lift $40,000. Nicholas Musuraca's photography drips deceit and desire and James M Cain (of Double Indemnity fame) is believed to have had a hand in the dialogue: "I don't want to die." "Neither do I, but if I have to I'll die last." LA Confidential may be classy but this is the real thing. A B-movie where the "B" stands for bowl you over. David Benedict
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