John Hodiak plays a soldier who wakes up after being wounded with no memory. All he knows is what he is told: that his name is George Taylor. He makes his way to LA, and before long is looking for one Larry Cravat, a man who is apparently his friend. But lots of other people are looking for Cravat too, both hoodlums and cops, and our hero is quickly up to his neck in danger, without even knowing why.
An early storyline centred around amnesia, Somehwere in the Night’s twists …ave become rather familiar over time, but this doesn’t take away from the superb pacing, atmosphere and dialogue. That the dialogue is so good should come as no surprise, given that the director/co-writer is Joseph L. Mankiewicz. Interestingly, Lee Strasberg also had a hand in the screenplay. With its baffled character at the mercy of forces beyond his comprehension or control, this is as pure a noir as they come.
As with the other films in the series, the sound comes in the original mono and a 2.0 stereo mix. The latter has the same richness and flaws as the other (the surround is rather indiscriminate, but is also pretty low key).
There is some minor damage visible under the opening credits, but the rest of the print is in excellent conditions. The image is sharp, there is very little grain, the B&W tones are sperb, and there is no visible edge enhancement. There is a tiny bit of flicker now and then, and one instance of a slight pulse that I noticed, but that’s about it.
Noir historian/author Eddie Muller turns in another fine commentary, as informal as it is informative. The only other extras are the theatrical trailer and some trailers for other films in the series. The menu’s main screen is scored.
A terrific entry in the Fox Film Noir series. Highly recommended.
Special Features List
- Audio Commentary
- Theatrical Trailer