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 <email@example.com>
One can only imagine the film Mr. Welles might have finished without the interference of the studio! This film is a flawed Welles, but worth every minute of it because one can see the greatness of perhaps America's best motion picture director of all times!
We can see the toll it took on Orson Welles the filming of this movie. The story has a lot of holes in it, perhaps because of the demands of the studio executives that didn't trust the director.
It is curious by reading some of the opinions submitted to IMDB that compare Orson Welles with the Coen brothers, Roman Polanski, even Woody Allen, when it should be all of those directors that must be regarded as followers of the great master himself. No one was more original and creative in the history of American cinema than Mr. Welles. Lucky are we to still have his legacy either in retrospective looks such as the one the Film Forum in New York just ended, or his films either on tape or DVD form.
Rita Hayworth was never more lovingly photographed than here. If she was a beauty with her red hair, as a blonde, she is just too stunning for words. Everett Sloan and Glenn Anders made an excellent contribution to the movie.
The only thing that might have made this film another masterpiece to be added to Orson Welles body of work, was his own appearance in it. Had he concentrated in the directing and had another actor interpret Michael O'Hara, a different film might have been achieved altogether. Orson Welles has to be credited for being perhaps a pioneer in taking the camera away from the studio lot into the street. The visuals in this film are so amazing that we leave the theater after seeing this movie truly impressed for the work, the vision and the talent he gave us.
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