Friday, 9 July 2010

Cornered (Edward Dmytryk, 1945)

Laurence Gerard: I have a job to do, my wife is dead!

Former prisoner of war Canadian pilot Laurence Gerard (Dick Powell) finds out that his French wife was murdered by Vichy collaborator Marcel Jarnac (Luther Adler).

Jarnac is reported to be dead but after finding the cover of a dossier about the criminal, Gerard is convinced he is still alive. After following the collaborationist’s trail to Switzerland he learns that Jarnac’s widow is living in Buenos Aires.

Once in Argentina Gerard meets several people: Incza (Walter Slezak), Mrs Camargo (Nina Vale), Mr Santana (Morris Carnovsky)… but in a world of half-truths, deception and shadowy characters he doesn’t know who to trust.

The film was made one year after the same team (blacklisted Edward Dmytryk, Adrian Scott and Jon Paxton together with Dick Powell) had filmed Murder my Sweet. Both films share an atmosphere of moral decay. The photography of this post-war noir movie is dark and full of shadows… a metaphor for the hidden faces of evil and fascism…

Jarnac: “How many times must I tell you that our chief aim for the next five years, for the next twenty years if necessary, is complete and absolute obscurity?”


Anonymous said...

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Richard said...

Great article! And thanks for sharing @anonymous

TCMesta said...

My fiends from Boston University and I are trying to make a film noir short of our own for a film class. Check it out!