The Locket (1946)

The Lovely Laraine Day as a Femme Fatale sociopath

US Warner Brothers Archive Collection DVD-R edition

Text below written 2020-02-22

Aaah, yes .... i really enjoyed this forgotten gem of a B Noir movie immensely. A beautiful production with an actress i had never heard about in
the main role, and with a young Robert Mitchum still on his way up in the film-world. Nice cinematography and a lovely Laraine Day in one of
those gorgeous B productions from the heyday of the Film Noir genre, the second half of the 1940's (The Locket, 1946) a time when nothing
seemingly could go wrong when making these dark fairytales from the Neon Jungle.

My thanks to WB who made this obscure film gem available trough their Archive Collection. Since many years the interest in buying films on
discs, as DVD and Blu-ray, has been waning due to the streaming possibilities of today. I guess it's not to profitable even for the big companies
to restore all of their films, not to speak of the many small companies that released e.g. mexican horror movies or italian gialli in beautiful editions
made from love some 10-15 years ago and who finally had to bite the dust. So, instead big companies as WB and others make these more obscure
titles available for us by burning them On Demand on DVD-R discs

Laraine Day and Robert Mitchum

Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend and Flashbacks in a Russian Doll

A Crime-Psychodrama with a genre archetypal and complicated construction of flashbacks, and everything starts off with a High Society wedding
where John Mills (Gene Raymond) is about to marry the beautiful Nancy Munks (Laraine Day), when a man shows up. He's a psychiatrist, Harry Blair
(Brian Aherne) and he tells his story, in a ... guess what ... a Flashback, to Mr. Mills that he once was married to Nancy. He's continuing telling him
how they met, how they married and how a man later appeared at his office, the artist Norman Clyde (Robert Mitchum) and how this man told him (Blair)
in a ... guess what ... a Flashback within the Flashback, about how he (Clyde) met Nancy and fell in love with her. How a diamond bracelet disappeared
during a society gathering, how a millionaire (Ricardo Cortez) was murdered and how an innocent butler was suspected for the crime.
Then Clyde continues his story (in the Flashback within the Flashback) by telling Blair how Nancy told him, in a ... guess what ... a Flashback within the
Flashback within the Flashback, about something that happened in her youth, when she was 10 years old, in a house where her mother was a housemaid.

Katherine Emery

The magnificent Katherine Emery as the nasty Mrs. Willis. She was one of these theatre stage actresses that appeared in smaller parts in films and that
most often overshadowed and outplayed the big Hollywood stars. Katherine Emery (1906-1980) appeared in 11 films and she put her stamp on them all

Young Nancy's Flashback (within Clyde's Flashback within Blair's Flashback), where young Nancy is played nicely by Sharyn Moffett, is disturbing in
it's smouldering intensity, something Katherine Emery performance adds to. The helplessness of a child, the injustice when aspects of social class plays
a role when a non-existent theft of a piece of jewellery, a locket, is blamed on innocent Nancy.
Working-class kid Nancy and her poor mother have to swallow the guilt and the shame when nasty rich woman Mrs. Willis accuses them of the theft,
something that probably undermined the mind of Nancy and messed-her-up as a grown woman. The film really sting you a little here, something that
we've to thank the great performance of Katherine Emery of, she's a class act for sure.

The intricate Flashbacks are constructed like a Chinese Box, or a Russian Doll, but finally these pieces are put together again when we return to the
beginning of the film. It's interesting and there's a twist at the end too.
This could almost be a Cornell Woolrich story, with a fatal woman showing up in the lives of a multitude of men, with paranoia and with a man sitting
in a prison-cell waiting for his exection .... but it's not. I had never heard about Laraine Day (1920-2007) before watching this film, but she's very fine as
the lovely but disturbed Nancy Munks. Kudos to her and i wonder whatever happened to her.
In short: A very good and interesting psychological Film Noir and recommended viewing. Looking great in this WB Archive DVD-R collection in a
fullscreen 4:3 original ratio, black & white, english mono audio, no extras, region free


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