Tuesday, January 8, 2013


Starring Alan Ladd as professional killer Raven in his career launching major role, it’s an engaging early noir adapted from Graham Greene’s novel with his typical trait of cop and criminal hunt. The film opens with killer’s job done for some chemical formula. In return he was paid by double cross and fraud money that puts him into direct jeopardy. A cop is sniffing him and the lady encounters him by chance who happens to be the cop’s girlfriend. The film is engaging but predictable one; though director Frank Tuttle used many ingredients to pull it as interesting as possible- an assassin with abnormal wrist bone, a chemical conglomerate, secret chemical formula, cat and mouse chase that tours us to a gas factory, sewage canal, and railway platform bridge and finally a chamber of villain that reminds me Bond films. He is a corporate tycoon on his state of art wheel chair and keeps a pen that turns out as secret gun selling the chemical gas formula to the Japanese enemy.

Ladd is fine and he seems quite boyish and too handsome to play an assassin compared to those hard boiled noir heroes but then that's what made a shift to Hollywood's gangster noir cinema where a young dashing, handsome and cool hitman switches the gear from that ugly old face gangsters, paving a way to French Cinema's Alain Delon to name instantly. Veronica Lake is not your typical femme fatale but surely a lady to watch that shuffles between the cop, the criminal and a night club owner. The film has worth mentioning B&W camera work and a strong reason to catch without fail.

Recommended for noir lovers.


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