Wednesday, January 15, 2014


Lizabeth Scott and Arthur Kennedy are driving to a party that Scott doesn't want to attend—as they argue, they pull the car over to the side of the road. Another car drives by and the driver, mistaking them for someone else, tosses a valise full of money in the window and speeds away. The driver who was supposed to intercept the cash chases them but Scott gives him the slip. When they get home, Kennedy wants to give the loot ($60,000) to the cops, but Scott talks him into stashing the money at a bus depot locker and thinking it over for a couple of days. The next day, after she goes on a shopping spree spending the money she doesn't have yet, Dan Duryea shows up claiming to be a cop, but he's actually the thug after his money. When she plays tough, Duryea slaps her around, then she bitchslaps him ("What do I call you besides 'stupid'?"). Scott winds up making a deal to keep half the money, but her goody-two-shoes husband won't play along so Scott kills him, gets Duryea to help her dump the body, and tries to file a missing persons report on Kennedy. But two people begin to make things tough for Scott and Duryea: Kennedy’s sister (Kristine Miller) who inconveniently lives right across the hall, and Don DeFoe, a stranger who shows up claiming to be a war buddy of Kennedy's. Not to mention that the claim ticket for the valise becomes difficult to hang on to.

This is a little-known but solid B-noir with a nicely twisty (albeit somewhat predictable) plot and great performances from the main trio. Kennedy's not around long but he makes an impression that lets his character remain vivid throughout. The sultry, deep-voiced Scott could play this kind of role in her sleep; at times, she does seem a little low-energy, but overall she pulls this off well. Best is Duryea (above with Scott) who creates a colorful character on whom it is hard to get a handle. He's tough on the surface but doesn't have the courage of his ambitions, and when he becomes a drunken mess later in the movie, Duryea manages to give him interesting shadings. This being a public domain film, the prints available on DVD are not very good, but you should see this anyway, even though the wimpy title works against it. [DVD]

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