Lately, I've been trying to see any Film Noir with Dick Powell that I can get my hands on. This is a good one, directed by Edward Dmytryk.
Laurence Gerard (Powell) is a Canadian airman who had crashed landed in France and, after being released from service, is trying to make it back to France to find the grave of his short-lived Wife and to take revenge on the man who killed her, a French Vichy commander named Marcel Jarnac (played by a shadowy Luther Adler).
Laurence follows his quarry all the way to Argentina to his widow, Madeleine (Micheline Ceirel) who is partying with her X-Nazi friends. People are not who they seem including a guide, Melchior Incza (Walter Slezak). Laurence isn't sneaking around, and is determined to get his man no matter who he meets.
Another film noir film I barely remember since they all involve murder, double crosses and a femme fatale! This one involves a Canadian flier coming home after WWII then discovering that a group of resistence fighters along with his wife are dead and Dick Powell as Laurence Gerard investigates leading him to suspect that it involves a cover up! All I remember is that this film had a good ending!
3 out of 4
cornered, as the title suggests, is a movie about a veteran who aspires to take revenge on his wife's murderer, and his need for vegence drives him into a strange city in argentina, where he gets himself cornered.orson wells' "the third man" might have some paralleled points with "cornered" since the american protagonist in both films recklessly stumbles his way to investigate the truth he assumes he's entitled to learn despite the damage of harmony he has inflicted upon the foreign town where he inhabits. (why movies always portray american cocky in this way? it's like, i wanna do the thing i think it's right and i don't give a damn to your standards of values.)...but joseph cotton (in third man) does it due to his complacent assumption of himself or he does it to get his friend's woman in the name of hot-headed chivalry, and he is just a detective novelist who thinks he could really solve a criminal case due to his vast experiences on writings.. dick powell here has a more justified course of doing it: he wishes to expose his wife's murderer. the film lacks the poignant cynicism "the third man" has toward...ok, the notion of americanism...on the contrary, it casts somehow more sympathetic light, kinda like the oppositional compensation to the third man. and it's also quite honest in the dialogues: the man even confesses he doesn't exactly recall what his wife used to look like but the brief memories of the warmth and solace she has brought him during the war is enough for him to mourn for her deeply.
also, the other reason cornered might not be so contagiously intriguing is the abscence of femme fatale. yes, it may have sinister woman in fancy dress to entrap the protagonist in a crime-scene, but the dosage is so feeble that it doesn't provide any stimulus to really stir up the indigenuous sexual antagonism between man and woman in extreme circumstances of life. (i suppose, that could be the best pleasure people get from noir.) in some ways, it could be noir, but in some other ways, it's not so sheer noir.
in a nutshell, cornered is a decently made post-war drama shot in elaborated chiascuro. and it might surpirse you to a mild degree that it was directed by the same man who made "murder, my sweet" (starring dick powell as philip marlowe and claire trevor as the femme fatale)..if you're a really careful-minded film-viewer who pays attention to the styles of cinematography, you would immediately learn the resemblances of camera-angles and photographies these two movies have. cornered is like a black coffee to awaken you in the morning by laying bare of all the sorrows within the deprived people which are usually contained in the post-war noir, but the director or the scriptor just forget to (or just reluctant to) put any sugar in it. in other words, they don't add any other stuff which usually gives noir a titlating aura. (like sexual anatagonism...okay, i seem to focus on sex a lot..ha)
but who says black coffee ain't also tasty sometimes?
The real fun comes at the end with Luther Adler revealed as the mastermind. I won't spoil it, but he gets a terrific monologue mocking postwar reconstructionist idealism. Then, some nice interaction with a rightly scared Slezak. Solid, enjoyable noir with tight direction and some very fun dialogue.