A private eye escapes his past to run a gas station in a small town, but his past catches up with him. Now he must return to the big city world of danger, corruption, double crosses and duplicitous dames.
Screenwriter Dixon Steele, faced with the odious task of scripting a trashy bestseller, has hat-check girl Mildred Atkinson tell him the story in her own words. Later that night, Mildred is murdered and Steele is a prime suspect; his record of belligerence when angry and his macabre sense of humor tell against him. Fortunately, lovely neighbor Laurel Gray gives him an alibi. Laurel proves to be just what Steele needed, and their friendship ripens into love. Will suspicion, doubt, and Steele's inner demons come between them?Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
When Edmund H. North adapted the story, he stuck close to the original source, and John Derek was considered for the role of Dix, because in the novel, he was much younger. North's treatment was not used, and Andrew Solt developed the screenplay with regular input from Producer Robert Lord and Director Nicholas Ray. The end result is quite different from the source novel. Solt claimed that Humphrey Bogart loved the script so much, that he wanted to make it without revisions. Solt maintains that the final cut is very close to his script, but further research shows that Ray made regular re-writes, some added on the day of shooting. In fact, only four pages of the one hundred forty page script had no revisions. See more »
In the final scene when Dixon hurls Laurel onto the bed and lands on top of her, his watch in the foreground quite visibly shows that is about 4 o'clock. However, the mantle clock on the shelf behind them shows the time as 6 o'clock. See more »
Fantastic film with Bogart at his very best. Gloria Grahame also gives one of her best performances.
The story concerns a Hollywood screenwriter (Bogart) who is suspected of being a murderer. Grahame, a neighbor, steps in to defend him she saw the murdered woman leave his apartment alone. Afterwards, they begin a relationship. But Bogart's nature is a violent one, and that violence keeps pushing forward. It makes Grahame rethink her earlier testimony, as well as fear for her own safety. It's quite a unique film for the time, one that actually deals with the possibility of an abusive man. Everything is perfectly done, and the script is wonderful. The film's tagline was 'The Bogart suspense picture with a surprise ending!' What is surprising about the ending is just how much weight it carries. 9/10.
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