movie film review | chris tookey


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Tookey's Rating
6 /10
Average Rating
9.11 /10
Gene Tierney , Dana Andrews , Clifton Webb
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Directed by: Otto Preminger
Written by: Jay Dratler, Samuel Hoffenstein, Elizabeth Reinhardt, Ring Lardner, Jr, Jerry Cady from Vera Caspary's novel

Released: 1944
Origin: US
Length: 85


A detective (Dana Andrews, pictured right) investigates the death of a beautiful woman, and finds himself increasingly intrigued by her.

Reviewed by Chris Tookey

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Stagey by modern standards but still a classic black-and-white murder mystery. The atmosphere is a mixture of film noir and drawing-room comedy: it crackles with character conflict, romance and necrophilia. Easily the most memorable character is the acerbic journalist Waldo Lydecker, played by stage actor Clifton Webb (and inspired by columnist Alexander Woolcott).
It had one of the most troubled production histories in Hollywood history. Both the director, Rouben Mamoulian, and the cinematographer, Lucien Ballard, were fired during shooting by the head of Twentieth Century Fox, Darryl F. Zanuck. Producer Otto Preminger was put in Mamoulian's place, and - though unpopular with most of the cast - never directed anything better. Joseph LaShelle's stylish photography won an Oscar; the handsome art direction of Lyle R. Wheeler and Leland Fuller was nominated. David Raksin's haunting theme tune was shamefully overlooked.

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