Saturday, May 28, 2016

Two of a Kind (1951)

Director: Henry Levin

Writers: Lawrence Kimble, James Gunn, James Edward Grant

Composer: George Dunning

Starring: Edmond O'Brien, Lizabeth Scott, Terry Moore, Alexander Knox, Griff Barnett, Robert Anderson, Virginia Brissac

More info: IMDb

Tagline: They tried to draw the line .............. just this side of MURDER!

Plot:  A lawyer for a rich elderly industrialist works out a complex inheritance scam to pass off a con as the industrialist's long-lost son and claim the huge inheritance.

My rating: 7/10

Will I watch it again?  Yes.

I like popping in pre-1960 crime/noir pictures without knowing anything about them beforehand.  They're rarely ever terrible and I generally dig them more often than not.  This one's on the short side (about 75 minutes) and it flies by seemingly faster than that.  Brandy (Scott) gets down to business once she starts working the man she's been tracking all over the U.S., Michael (O'Brien).  It starts to get serious and dark when she tells him he has to get the tip of his finger amputated before she'll give him the details of the caper.  That's a tall order.  Once you find out why it makes total sense and it seems like a good play.  Like a lot of good plans in these pictures, it doesn't go as expected.  I like the tone of the film until Kathy (Moore) enters and brings teenage optimism in to offset the darkness.  I could've done with less of her and more of the nastiness in the scheme but it's not something that ruins the film by any stretch.  Some might find the ending too optimistic as well.  I'm OK with it but it would be neat to see an alternate version that took the plan closer to completion and some folks ending up dead.  This is one of four films on the Bad Girls of Film Noir set from Columbia. The extras you get are a 7 minute interview with star Terry Moore (and she doesn't even mention this film until literally halfway in) and trailers for this film and the other film that shares this disc, THE KILLER THAT STALKED NEW YORK (1950).

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