Eddie Lang (Chester Morris), a decent family man making $27.50 a week, borrows fifty-dollars from Richard Farra (Leo Carrillo) in order to take his wife, Mary (Helen Mack) and two small ... See full summary »
A man is found murdered, with witnesses convinced about the woman they saw leaving his apartment. However, it becomes apparent that the woman has a twin, and finding out which one is the killer seems impossible.
Olivia de Havilland,
"Mitch" Mitchell is an aviator who has been hired to take a child in a guardianship suit out of California into Mexico. He is accompanied by Maxine Bush, the secretary of the head of a ... See full summary »
American Gregor Stevens arrives in London searching for his brother who, unknown to him, has been convicted of a murder and is within three days of being executed. He meets Yvonne Durante, ... See full summary »
Following a prison break, Hal Wilson, a ruthless killer takes refuge in the home of a psychiatrist, Dr. Shelby. While Wilson is attempting to make a safe getaway, Dr. Shelby is busily trying to analyze his captor and find out just what, in his dark past, made him the man he now has become.Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The gangster's fingers are supposedly paralyzed, but when he pushes the "Insanity and the Criminal Mind" book back onto the shelf, you can clearly see him flick it into place with one of his "paralyzed" fingers. See more »
Psychological crime drama has a few interesting touches.
Director Charles 'GILDA' Vidor's psychological crime drama has a few interesting touches as hard-boiled gangster Hal Wilson (Chester 'BOSTON BLACKIE' Morris) breaks out of jail, kills the warden and, together with his gang, hides out at psychology professor Dr. Shelby's (Ralph Bellamy) riverside home and holds him and his dinner party guests hostage whilst awaiting the boat to take them across the river to freedom. During a long dark night of the soul - and after Wilson has demonstrated his trigger-happy nature by murdering one of the male guests who stands up to him - Shelby manages to psychoanalyse the violent hoodlum and discovers what made him who he is. If this sounds somewhat familiar to crime movie buffs it's because it was remade nine years later as THE DARK PAST (with, respectively, William Holden and Lee J. Cobb in the principal roles of gangster and shrink) when the post-War trend for psychoanalysis may have lent it greater resonance. The culture clash elements in BLIND ALLEY would probably have resonated more with an audience of the day familiar with the narrative and thematic tropes of the earlier THE PETRIFIED FOREST but what makes this interesting today are some interesting stylistic touches like Wilson's recurring nightmare shown in reverse negative and his final recovered memory revealed in subjective I-camera point of view. Otherwise, the film never really betrays its origins as a stage play and often feels rather static and talky even with a running time of just over an hour. Still, it's interesting to see a couple of now almost forgotten 30s stars like Chester Morris and Ann 'SCARFACE' Dvorak as the hard-boiled gangster and his moll as well as a film attempting to do something different with the crime movie staples of the day even if it all inevitably seems a shade simplistic and formulaic in these more morally compromised times. However, it's an elusive title these days and is still recommended to fans of vintage crime movies who get the chance to see it.
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