Monday, March 10, 2014


There is quite a tangle of characters and situations set out at the beginning of this film noir. In Quebec City, a famous actress lies dying in a hospital after a car accident. She tells reporter Mary Anderson that the death of her fiancĂ© years ago in an accident was actually murder. Anderson looks up a lawyer (Paul Lukas) who knew the actress to get more background. Lukas has his own problems: he is acting as a patron to pianist Helmut Dantine who is struggling to finish a concerto—and on occasion drinks too much and passes out. Dantine is estranged from his shrew of a wife (Joy Lafleur), who records a disc saying that if she's found dead, it will be Dantine's fault. Lukas asks Anderson's editor not to pursue the story on the actress (is he hiding something?), but Anderson keeps digging. Meanwhile, Lukas goes off to murder Lafluer, but discovers she's killed herself. Lukas takes the suicide note and tries to make it look as if Dantine killed her during an alcoholic blackout, then blackmails Dantine by telling him he will clear his name if he "eliminates" the nosy reporter (ah, Lukas is hiding something). And so on… This Canadian indie production is a pretty solid noir, even if the plotting becomes a bit labyrinthine. One interesting point is that Dantine, the noir hero, doesn't really take center stage until halfway through the movie; until then, he seems more like a sideline character. The plot takes some nice twists and turns in the last half, though the climax itself is ineptly staged. Anderson is on the bland side, but Dantine and Lukas (pictured at right) pick up the slack. [DVD]

No comments: