Ella Raines

IMPACT (1949)

Impact 1949

Impact is a wholly typical domestic noir in which a wife plans to murder her husband and get away with it by playing stupid. This was a hugely popular motif in the ’40s, with a lot of scripts scratching at the coattails of Double Indemnity. While that film leaves imitators in the dust, some of the them have just enough to offer to be worth a watch. Case in point: Impact, a fun, but lazily directed film that proposes an intriguing legal case though bores terribly during the second act.

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THE STRANGE AFFAIR OF UNCLE HARRY (1945)

The Strange Affair of Uncle Harry

Robert Siodmak’s The Strange Affair of Uncle Harry has a goofy ass title, but it’s a seriously dark film. The final third in particular is a bleak take on the punishments repeatedly doled out in ’40s noir due to the moral censorship enforced by the Hays Code. But then, the final minute of the film occurs and…it’s mind boggling and frustrating and silly and I dunno man. According to the interwebz, the ending was tacked on to appease the Motion Picture Production Code. It’s a dogshit way to wrap things up, but up to that point the movie is fantastic.

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THE SUSPECT (1944)

The Suspect 1944 Charles Laughton

The Suspect is a period melodrama by blog favorite Robert Siodmak. This is the 9th Siodmak film I’ve reviewed here and by this point I can honestly declare that he can pretty much do everything. Seriously. Gothic horror. Two-fisted noir. And for today’s film, a murderous drama set in 1902 London. This one is light on his German expressionism influences and contains a bit more pomp than I typically enjoy, but it’s heavy on the suspense as the protagonist leaves behind a trail of bodies and must make a painful decision in the film’s final minutes.

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