A private eye escapes his past to run a gas station in a small town, but his past catches up with him. Now he must return to the big city world of danger, corruption, double crosses and duplicitous dames.
The Moorish general Othello is manipulated into thinking that his new wife Desdemona has been carrying on an affair with his lieutenant Michael Cassio when in reality it is all part of the scheme of a bitter ensign named Iago.
Michael O'Hara, against his better judgement, hires on as a crew member of Arthur Bannister's yacht, sailing to San Francisco. They pick up Grisby, Bannister's law partner, en route. Bannister has a wife, Rosalie, who seems to like Michael much better than she likes her husband. After they dock in Sausalito, Michael goes along with Grisby's weird plan to fake his (Grisby's) murder so he can disappear untailed. He wants the $5000 Grisby has offered, so he can run off with Rosalie. But Grisby turns up actually murdered, and Michael gets blamed for it. Somebody set him up, but it is not clear who or how. Bannister (the actual murderer?) defends Michael in court. Written by
John Oswalt <firstname.lastname@example.org>
According to Orson Welles, this film grew out of an act of pure desperation. Welles, whose Mercury Theatre company produced a musical version of "Around the World in 80 Days," was in desperate need of money just before the Boston preview. Mere hours before the show was due to open, the costumes had been impounded and unless Welles could come up with $55,000 to pay outstanding debts, the performance would have to be canceled. Stumbling upon a copy of "If I Die Before I Wake," the novel upon which this film is based, Welles phoned Harry Cohn, instructing him to buy the rights to the novel and offering to write, direct and star in the film so long as Cohn would send $55,000 to Boston within two hours. The money arrived, and the production went on as planned. See more »
In the Crazy House, Mrs. Bannister's lips do not match the line "we could have gone off together." See more »
Of all the film noirs of the 1940s and 1950s, this has to rank as one of the strangest, and most fun to watch. I say that because of the four main actors: Orson Welles, Rita Hayworth, Everett Sloane and Glenn Anders.
The first two names are familiar to everyone but it was the last two that made this movie so entertaining to me, especially Anders. His character, "George Grisby," is one of the strangest people I've ever seen on film. His voice, and some of the things he said, have to be heard to be believed. Slaone isn't far behind in the "strange" category. Hayworth is not as glamorous with short, blonde hair but still is Hayworth, which means a lot to ogle if you are a guy. Welles' is as fascinating as always. One tip: if you have the DVD, turn on the English subtitles. His character in this movie is an Irishman and you need the subtitles to understand everything he says.
Welles also directed the film which means you have great camera angles and wonderful facial closeups. You also have a unique ending, visually, with a shootout in a house of mirrors. Great stuff! As bizarre as this film is, I still thought the buffoon-like carnival atmosphere at the trial near the end was too much and took away from the seriousness of the scene. Other than that, no complaints.
This is great entertainment, which is the name of the game.
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