- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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I love Dana Andrews and Joan Fontaine so I figured this movie would be worth watching. Plus, I'm against capital punishment and was interested in their plot to show that someone innocent could be convicted if any stone is left unturned. But I was so disappointed with the movie until I had to watch it a second time to make sure I hadn't missed some clues of his guilt. But after the second viewing. I found no one single clue that he had committed murder. Therefore, it wasn't believable that a cold blooded killer who had committed murder would calmly go along with a fictionist plot to frame himself for a murder he actually committed; and it's not believable that a director would not drop at least a couple discreet clues pointing to the possibility of his guilt; and it's not believable that he would be so stupid as to admit to the crime to his girlfriend when he knew he was facing the death penalty; and it's not believable that Dana Andrews character would perform through the entire movie without displaying any signs of concerned or stressful emotions except when he heard the news that his girlfriend's father had died in a car accident. Sociopathic individuals show no emotions for their guilt. Therefore, this apparent law abiding citizen who was against capital punishment was in actuality a sociopath capable of cold blooded murder if you got in his way.
The Man Who Dared,1956
Actually prefer above The Man Who Dared,1940s with George Macready,think he'd have been perfect if Dana weren't the lead-love Andrews and always will,just like I respect Macready's talent and think him highly underappreciated,too!This was a definite twist,unusual to haveDana this type character instead of tough guy with flaws.Would've enjoyed being the lady in either Georgie's or Dana's characters lives,like both men and think they were genuinely nice guys offscreen.
Excellent plotting and direction.
The Realm of Probability
This movie's story is quite possible in our disreality except that the real killer inadvertently betrays himself & takes the fall for his own crime despite his CIA caliber scheme to escape justice as performed in a soap operic/tv-like movie!
beyond a reasonable doubt
- kevin sellers
Not a great film, but not Lang's worst, either. ("Amer. Guerrillas in the Phillipines," anyone?) You have to respect a noir that is as uncompromisingly bleak as this one. Yes, Andrews and Blackmer, the masterminds of this sick joke on the criminal justice system, walk zombie like through the entire thing, but that's kind of Lang's point. It's a cold, twisted world we inhabit and the only good people in it are the plodders and the dullards (i.e. Edward Binns, Arthur Franz, and Joan Fontaine.) And while the screenplay is certainly on the ludicrous side, the biggest fault is that at no point in the film does Andrews give the slightest hint that he is malevolent. It's almost as if malevolence would be too much emotion for this burnt out case. Let's give it a B, 'cause it sticks in the mind.
Totally implausible story - so much so that the 2009 remake with Michael Douglas was a huge failure too. Best part of the '58 version is Barbara Nichols. Nichols was a bit player in countless films but she always stood out and she does so here. For my money, she's the only one who was doing any acting! The rest of the cast seemed to just walk through this film and Fontaine was horrid! Of course, in their defense, I must say they didn't have much to work with either. I gave it one-half star because of Barbara Nichols.
Beyond doubt Lang's worst
Even the best directors have at least one bad movie to their name, and this is Fritz Lang's nadir. It looks like the poor effort of a rookie director, not of one of cinema's masters.What went wrong? It's as if Lang sabotaged his own movie to get out of a contract, and it's probably no coincidence that it's his last American film. The story is implausible to say the least, but with more effort still could have resulted in a fine movie.But with a drunk, morose lead, a co-star without any role worth that name and a director with his thoughts on going back to Europe what can you expect? Not much, and that's exactly what you get.
- Steve S.
Perhaps in the hands of another studio e.g. 20th Century Fox this could have turned out to be a very good film but the ill-fated and Howard Hughes owned RKO gives us a mediocre picture, at best!