|One's hard and square, the other one's soft and round.|
Ms. Frankie Neal(Maria Windsor), a mob wife, is planning on testifying against her husband. But in order to do so, she has to go into hiding and take a long train ride with the protection of Det. Sgt. Walter Brown(Charles McGraw). A couple of assassins are on the train with them, but they don't know what she looks like! Can Brown hide her long enough for her to testify?
This is a very tense noir, made possible by the fact that 90 % of it takes place on the train, giving it a claustrophobic feeling. It has a number of dueling personalities whether it's Brown fighting with Neal, who doesn't trust him at all, or Brown casually bumping into the assassin, as both are trying to follow each other without the other seeing. They engage in a game of in the open hide and seek, not giving away who they really are to the other passengers.
|She's beautiful, but she's got a mouth on her.|
The pacing is perfect and the dialogue is tops. Tops I said! It's close to the great back and forth of Murder My Sweet. The actors are all fun to watch; McGraw is a hardcase and Windsor is a loudmouth. The story keeps you guessing, and has some nice turns, including one huge twist at the end that I was generally surprised at. I haven't been this surprised by a noir in awhile! It relies on a pretty big coincidence, but man, film noir is all about coincidences.
|They're always at each other's throats. He resents her, and she doesn't trust him. Great characters.|
It's a nice little noir with a great twist. I wouldn't say it's amazing enough to make my all time favorites, but it's still a great noir. I immediately felt the urge to rewatch it right after I finished it!
THE GOOD: great story, good use of no soundtrack, great dialogue, very tense and claustrophobic, awesome twist, nice shots.
THE BAD: kid gets annoying
THE VERDICT: Definitely see it! It's one of the better noirs you'll encounter, and you'll want to rewatch it to see if you catch the twist!
MOVIES LIKE IT: The Set-Up, On Dangerous Ground, Maltese Falcon, A Lonely Place, DOuble Indemnity
ONE-SCENE METAPHOR: There's a portly gentleman who takes up the whole width of the train corridor, making it unable to push past him. "Nobody likes a fat man." He seems jovial and innocent enough until the heated detective doesn't want to deal with him, and we get a dark shot that tells us there's something more devious to this guy than he's letting on.
|"Nobody likes a fat man."|