Sunday, November 17, 2013


THE DARK CORNER (1946)   Dir. Henry Hathaway

There are a lot of interesting elements in "The Dark Corner" even if it doesn't add up to a totally successful movie. I can't deny that one of those elements is Lucille Ball. She's doesn't seem entirely comfortable in this kind of dramatic role. This was a few years before she really found her voice as a broad comedy star on television and it shows. But it's definitely interesting to see her out of the usual context.

Joseph MacDonald's photography is a real stand out here. I know I often say the expressionistic visuals aren't mandatory for noir but that doesn't mean I don't love to look at them. MacDonald who also shot "My Darling Clementine", "Call Northside 777" and "The Street With No Name" does an impressive job with his high contrast, yet motivated lighting.

"I'm clean as a peeled egg."

And then there's the dialogue. Look, I'm not going to make a "hard boiled" joke here. I'm not onboard with the puns. But the dialogue in this movie is genuinely bizarre at times. It's often so obtuse that I'm not entirely sure what the characters are trying to express to each other. Does it dampen the entertainment value of this movie? Not on your life. The crazy dialogue is a huge draw here.

The story never comes together in a particularly credible or satisfying way but there are enough elements here to make the film worthwhile.

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