Jean Peters is Vicki, a top New York model, who is found murdered in the opening scene. Burnt-out cop Richard Boone comes pounding back from his vacation, rabid to take over the case. He is convinced her press agent Elliott Reid is the guilty party, and the screws are put to Reid. In flashback, we see Vicki’s rise to fame, and the effects it has on the people around her, including her sister Jeanne Crain, who might harbour feelings for Reid.
The film’s debt to Laura is obvio…s, and Vicki makes no bones about it: at one point, Reid is in a theatre, and the dialogue we here from the movie he is watching is from that classic. There are enough differences to keep one guess, though. Boone cuts a thoroughly menacing figure as a cop willing to do absolutely anything to get his man. Scary though he is, there are enough doubts planted that one can’t help but wonder if maybe he’s right. The resolution is very satisfying.
The usual deal: original mono and new stereo. Most of the recent releases in this series have managed to avoid the surround-dialogue problem. This disc, unfortunately, does not. Front and rear speakers pump out the same sounds with no discrimination whatsoever. On the other hand, the clarity of the sound can’t be faulted.
There is a little bit of grain here, but it is by no means severe, and it’s really the only problem when it comes to the print, which is otherwise free of damage and blessed by a very sharp image. The contrasts are very good, with extremely deep blacks and strong contrasts (gotta love those shadows). The tones are very good, too.
Film historian Foster Hirsch is back with yet another first-rate commentary track, an invaluable aid to any film scholar. The disc has a few more extras than the other releases in this series as well. On top of the interactive pressbook gallery (a feature that also pops up on Fourteen Hours), there are two still galleries (advertising and behind-the-scenes). The theatrical trailer is joined by the usual trailers for other noir releases.
Another winner in this fine series. Let’s hope for more yet.
Special Features List
- Audio Commentary
- Interactive Pressbook Gallery
- Advertising Gallery
- Behind-the-Scenes Gallery
- Theatrical Trailer