Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
USA, 1953. Columbia Pictures Corporation. Screenplay by Sydney Boehm, based on a Saturday Evening Post serial article by William P. McGivern. Cinematography by Charles Lang. Produced by Robert Arthur. Music by Henry Vars. Production Design by Robert Peterson. Costume Design by Jean Louis. Film Editing by Charles Nelson.
Superb film noir that shows the genre at its most dangerous. Glenn Ford plays a relentless cop whose investigation of a suspicious suicide committed by a fellow officer takes him down a dark path of corruption. He interviews the dead man’s wife (Jeanette Nolan) and hooks up with the trampy girlfriend (Gloria Grahame) of a dirty politician (Lee Marvin) but despite warnings that he will put his wife (Jocelyn Brando) and daughter in danger, Ford is determined to get his man. Fritz Lang gets spitfire performances out of the entire cast and thoroughly indulges himself in all the moody black-and-white shadows that one comes to expect (and adore) from the genre; Ford’s wholesome and compellingly pure home life effectively contrasts the dirty underbelly that the film mostly resides in. One can see how L.A. Confidential could be the offspring of this film.