Mark Stevens is a PI recently out of jail after having been framed for manslaughter by his former partner. He is trying to make a new start in a new city, and the good news is that something might be developing with his new secretary, Lucille Ball. The bad news is that he’s being followed, and it turns out his treacherous ex-partner, Kurt Kreuger, is in town and making life hell for him. Or is he? In fact, obsessive gallery owner Clifton Webb is setting Stevens up for another frame.
< ...>For all that he cracks some the hardest boiled dialogue going, Stevens never completely convinces us that he’s such a tough guy, and that’s as it should be, since Ball isn’t buying it either. Webb is playing much the same sort of character he did in Laura, but that doesn’t make his turn any less entertaining. Particularly good is William Bendix as the thug for hire. All in all, a thoroughly classic slice of noir.
Nothing very different here from the other releases in the series: original mono and new 2.0, with the latter prone to surround dialogue flaws. On the other hand, the sound in the remix is also very rich and clear, and there is only a little bit of static in the background.
The print is in very good shape. There are occasional speckles (of an extremely minor variety), and the grain is very slight indeed. There is no visible edge enhancement, the image is sharp, and the blacks are just wonderful.
Once again, film historians Alain Silver and James Ursini are on hand to provide their excellent commentary. Watch all the films in the series with these guys on board, and you’ll have completed a graduate course in the genre. The only other extras are trailers for this and other films in the series. The menu is basic.
Great stuff. An almost perfect example of what is meant by noir.
Special Features List
- Audio Commentary