Film Noir 2021
Screening Dates
  • August 16, 2021 8:40
  • August 25, 2021 8:40
  • August 26, 2021 6:30

Doom-laden, first-rate, little-known … A hard, harsh, fast-moving thriller.”

Philip French, The Guardian

Noir icon John Garfield (The Postman Always Rings Twice), always impressive, made his final film appearance in this dark, tense thriller, often cited as one of the first home invasion” movies. Garfield plays luckless two-bit hood Nick Robey, on the run and desperate after a botched armed robbery. Ducking into a public swimming pool, he puts the moves on lonely innocent Peg Dobbs (Shelley Winters, also excellent), and finangles his way into her family’s apartment. The cinematography is by two-time Oscar winner James Wong Howe. The cast includes screen legend Norman Lloyd (who died in May 2021 at age 106). Garfield, persecuted by the House Un-American Activities Committee at the time, died of a heart attack within a year of the film’s release. Director John Berry and screenwriters Dalton Trumbo and Hugo Butler were also victims of Hollywood’s anti-communist witchhunts.

At under 80 tight minutes, the script keeps the tension tensing and the paranoia popping … Garfield’s noirs just got darker as he went along.”

Michael Barrett, PopMatters

Garfield’s last vehicle prophesies the antiheroic youth cinema that sprouted in the mid 50s … He equal[s] the young Brando in his dangerous sexual magnetism.”

J. Hoberman, Village Voice