One of the forgotten gems of '40s film noir...
8 May 2001
Warning: Spoilers
Claude Rains is the smoothly cultured radio narrator of murder mysteries, who turns to murder out of a consuming greed for possessions, including his niece's mansion. He is like the Waldo Lydecker character portrayed by Clifton Webb in 'Laura'--a witty, decadent murderer trapped in a world of his own dark machinations.

This is one of those forgotten gems of film noir from the '40s. Director Michael Curtiz adds some stylistic touches to the proceedings, as does Woody Bredell's photography of handsome interiors. There are vivid performances from Constance Bennett as a wise-cracking producer, Joan Caulfield as his frightened niece, Audrey Totter, Hurd Hatfield and Michael North (who for some reason had a brief screen career).

Handsomely produced and based on a Charlotte Armstrong novel, it benefits greatly from classic low-key film noir lighting and the expert performances of an all-star cast. For some reason, it has fallen between the cracks as far as visiblity goes, shown only occasionally on cable TV.
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