Monday, December 28, 2015

Somewhere in the Night (1946)

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz

Writers: Howard Dimsdale, Joseph L. Mankiewicz, Lee Strasberg, Marvin Borowsky, W. Somerset Maugham

Composer: David Buttolph

Starring: John Hodiak, Nancy Guild, Lloyd Nolan, Richard Conte, Josephine Hutchinson, Fritz Kortner, Margo Woode, Sheldon Leonard, Lou Nova, Whit Bissell, Jeff Corey, Harry Morgan

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Meet That Guild Gal...She gives as Good as She Gets!

Plot: George Taylor returns from WWII with amnesia. Back home in Los Angeles, while trying to track down his old identity, he stumbles onto a 3-year old murder case and a hunt for a missing $2 million.

My rating: 6/10

Will I watch it again?  No.

Ever heard of actor John Hodiak?  Me neither.  It looks like he was doing a lot of B pictures until his death in '55 at age 41.  Judging from this film he probably wasn't likely to work in A films.  His acting is pretty stiff.  All I have to go off of is this picture.  He's not horrible or really all THAT bad but he's somewhat monotone.  That could partly due to the role.  His co-star and love interest, Nancy Guild, is even worse.  She's the Lauren Bacall the studio could get.  Fortunately the cast is helped by the addition of Richard Conte and a few familiar faces like Sheldon Leonard, Whit Bissell, Jeff Corey and Harry Morgan.  The story isn't too shabby except that it's way too long at almost two hours.  It feels even longer with the two stilted leads.  The film did a pretty good job at keeping my interest enough to want to know who George Taylor (Hodiak) was and what the hell was going on.  It's not rocket science wrapped in mystery but then it is better than your average 40s crime thriller. The 20th Century Fox DVD has some extras in the way of the theatrical trailer, a commentary track with film noir historian Eddie Muller and trailers for THE STREET WITH NO NAME, WHERE THE SIDEWALK ENDS and NO WAY OUT.

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