A Great Find! I had never ever heard of this film noir before
i saw it as one of the many films of the genre released in Spain in
El Cine Negro series with the films presented with attractive DVD sleeves
and often with fine booklets included with texts and pictures (and
the text in spanish only). But the films are in english with spanish
I loved this film and it could almost be in my Top Ten
Film Noir of all time and certainly the unforgettable shock twist ending
makes the film
go out with a Bang. I loved Robert Young (playing against type as he
normally was the good guy) in the main role.
He's perfect. He's neat, slick, slightly effeminate
and slimy as a married man and a womanizer. A kept man that is as he's
married to a rich woman
who he doesn't love, but endures due to the comfortable slacker life
she's providing him and with some love affairs with young hot babes
the side. His wife know about his affairs but doesn't worry too much
as she's sure he will always follow the money. She owns him.
Robert Young is delightfully unlikeable and a creep ... But, and that
is what makes this film so great, he's not 100 % evil, maybe 80 % rotten
and his nuanced performance makes us like him, a tiny bit, an itsy bitsy
teenie weenie little bit but still. He's just weak and spineless.
The film starts and ends at the Hall of Justice where
Lawrence Ballantine (Robert Young) is accused of murder
and sitting on stand, in a long
flashback (almost all of the film) he tells the Jury how everything
happened. The Flashback:
Lawrence, Larry is unhappily married to Greta (Rita
Johnson) a rich socialite since 5 years and he has a love affair with
a much younger woman
and a friend of Greta, Janice (the lovely film noir icon Jane
Greer). When Janice tells him she don't want to break up Gretas
marriage to Larry and
that she's moving to Montreal, he tells her he will divorce Greta and
go with her to Montreal. (The film starts out in NY).
But Greta knows everything and has planned something else. Greta tells
him that she knows he's unhappy with their marriage and that she has
rented a fancy house in the Beverly Hills, LA and bought him a piece
of a brokerage firm.
Will our hero break out of his unhappy marriage and
go with Janice to Montreal or will he follow Greta to LA in a leash
? In a brilliant scene we
get the answer to that question. Well, at his brokerage firm, Trenton
and Ballantine, he meets his boss partners secretary Verna (Susan
and there we go again. But Greta has a plan for this too, selling Larrys
partnership part to Trenton, making him without a job, and buying an
isolated ranch in Montana ... without a telephone. Will our hero stay
in LA with Verna or follow the money this time too ....
And then this film just twists away and i had absolutely NO idea in
what direction this film would go. A Superb Noir crime melodrama.
The film is presented in 4:3 original fullscreen, black
& white, 2.0 DD english audio with spanish subs and with a nice
Booklet as extra