Saturday, September 13, 2008


Research scientist Brenda Marshall is working long hours on a promising new anesthetic which she plans to test on herself. One night, Marshall almost hits a drunken woman (Ruth Ford) with her car; Ford is OK, but she meets up with a shyster lawyer in a plot thread to which we will return later. Marshall has been putting boyfriend William Gargan off until her experiments are done, but her assistant (Hillary Brooke) also wants Gargan and deliberately sets a chemical fire. Gargan saves her but she winds up horribly disfigured and Brooke makes Gargan think that Marshall doesn't want to see him, and vice versa. In the midst of her misery, Marshall is visited by Ford, looking for a little blackmail money. They tussle and Ford falls out a window to her death. The body is ID'd as Marshall, so she leaves town and has plastic surgery to look like Ford, then she goes back home and poses as a dear old friend of Marshall's and sets out for a nice dish of cold revenge, though she soon winds up under suspicion for her own murder. For most of its running time, this B-noir, an early effort from director Anthony Mann, is fun, with interesting plot twists and decent performances, especially from Marshall--having fallen from Warner Brothers to B-studio Republic, she looks a bit anorexic and would retire from acting by 1950. Gargan is OK though he looks a little weird with a Hitler mustache. Unfortunately, the film is marred by a very weak ending; it seems the writers just couldn't figure out who should be punished and who should be redeemed so they just threw in the towel and ended the movie with a cheap trick. But until the last couple of minutes, it's definitely worth watching. Also with George Chandler, H.B. Warner and Lyle Talbot. [DVD]

No comments: