Rip Murdock and Johnny Darke are en route to Washington when Johnny disappears and then turns up dead. Rip learns that Johnny had been accused of murder and sets out to find out what he can. He falls in love with Coral whose husband Johnny is supposed to have killed.Written by
Ed Stephan <email@example.com>
Humphrey Bogart and William Prince should be psyching themselves up for the big moment of their lives in Dead Reckoning. Bogey's put Prince up for the Congressional Medal of Honor. But Prince doesn't react to that quite the way one would expect. He jumps the train in Philadelphia on the way to Washington, DC and disappears and Bogey starts his own hunt for him and an explanation.
The trail leads to Prince's hometown and Bogey learns that Prince was fleeing a murder rap when he joined the service. There's a girl involved to, Lizabeth Scott who Columbia was trying to build up into their version of Lauren Bacall. Of course the best way to do that was team her with Humphrey Bogart. Prince also winds up dead and Bogey's really on a mission now.
Dead Reckoning borrows very heavily from The Maltese Falcon in terms of Bogart's character motivation. He was avenging a partner, admittedly one he wasn't crazy about, in The Maltese Falcon. Here he's looking for answers and vengeance on whoever might have murdered his war time buddy. That was a common theme in a lot of post World War II films. The audience, heavily populated with veterans, could understand Bogart's motivation back then easily.
And because Humphrey Bogart is such a skilled player, today's audience can appreciate it. Dead Reckoning is not the best of Humphrey Bogart's films, but it's still entertaining.
By the way, the ending confrontation is also out of The Maltese Falcon, though a bit more violent.
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