Dead Reckoning

USA 1947. Dir: John Cromwell. 100 min. 35mm

“Sometimes, chum, you go soft-headed. I'd like to see any blonde do that to me.” Humphrey Bogart plays Rip Murdock, a war hero investigating the disappearance of an army buddy, in director John Cromwell’s complexly plotted and claustrophobic noir thriller. At the centre of the mystery is sultry songstress and aforementioned blonde Coral (Lizabeth Scott), the missing buddy’s old girlfriend. She’s now secretly married to Martinelli (Morris Carnovsky), a gangster. Rip’s importunate snooping makes him a target for Martinelli’s sadistic henchman, while seductive Coral’s allure makes the hard-boiled hero go soft-headed in spite of himself. “A particularly noir vision of love ... The film is structured as a confession of guilt, and Rip feels compelled to retell the story as a doomed romance ... A sometimes brutal yet oddly sensitive film” (Carl Macek, Film Noir).


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