The Crooked Way (1949)
Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.
as Eddie Rice / Eddie R...
as Vince Alexander
as Nina Martin
as Lieutenant Joe Willi...
as Sgt. Barrett
as Capt. Anderson
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The Crooked Way is a minor work of film noir genius that could've really been amazing with a little work on the script and some better casting. The premise is great. An amnesiac WWII vet comes back to LA with a piece of irremovable shrapnel in his head and no memory of his former life. Turns out he was a mobster who screwed over his former partner to stay out of jail and liked pimping out his wife. Needless to say, some chickens come home to roost. Picture a less compelling version of Memento. The direction's pretty decent but in tandem with the cinematography, this is where The Crooked Way really shines. Ellen Drew was pretty good but I never really bought John Payne as the lead because I just kept thinking of him in Miracle on 34th St and the rest of the cast is comprised of people with cartoony voices. The low budget look adds to the grittiness but despite how much The Crooked Way was lacking (mainly with an uneven story and some bad bouts of poorly-executed internal monologue) it could've been a hell of a lot worse...
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