The Dark Corner (1946)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Brad Galt (Mark Stevens) is a bitter ex-con, turned private eye, who depends upon his faithful secretary Kathleen (Lucille Ball) to keep his life in order. Hardy Cathcart (Clifton Webb) -- upon learning that his wife Mari (Cathy Downs) is having an affair with Galt's crooked former partner, Tony (Kurt Kreuger) -- has his henchman kill Tony and frame Brad for the murder. Suspected by the police and on the run, Brad is helped to clear himself by Kathleen. The ending of the film has an interesting twist as Brad confronts Cathcart in his art museum, and Cathcart confesses to being responsible for the murder of Tony. Expertly directed by Henry Hathaway, and with characteristically excellent performances by Clifton Webb and William Bendix, the tense mood of the film is greatly aided by the superb, dark photography of Joe MacDonald, grim darkness becoming the pervasive motif of Brad's predicament. The ending, nicely melodramatic, is a fitting finale for this enjoyable, extremely watchable mystery.
Classics , Drama , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
20th Century Fox


Lucille Ball
as Kathleen Stewart
William Bendix
as Stauffer, alias Fred Foss
Cathy Downs
as Mari Cathcart
Clifton Webb
as Hardy Cathcart
Mark Stevens
as Bradford Galt
John Russell
as Policeman
Eloise Hardt
as Saleswoman
Mary Field
as Cashier
Constance Collier
as Mrs. Kingsley
Kurt Kreuger
as Tony Jardine
Molly Lamont
as Lucy Wilding
John Kelly
as Policeman
Donald MacBride
as Policeman
Matt McHugh
as Milk Man
Reed Hadley
as Lt. Frank Reeves
Charles Cane
as Policeman
Lee Phelps
as Cabbie
Hope Landin
as Scrubwoman
Forbes Murray
as Mr. Bryson
Lynn Whitney
as Stenographer
Tom Monroe
as Policeman
Colleen Alpaugh
as Little Girl
Ralph Dunn
as Policeman
Regina Wallace
as Mrs. Bryson
Gisela Werbiseck
as Mrs. Schwartz
Vincent Graeff
as Newsboy
Thomas Louden
as Elderly Man
Thomas Martin
as Major Domo
Steve Olsen
as Barker
Frieda Stoll
as Frau Keller
Thomas Lockyear
as Elderly Man
as Daughter
Eugene Goncz
as Practical Sign Painter
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Critic Reviews for The Dark Corner

All Critics (8) | Top Critics (1)

A pretty good thriller.

Full Review… | April 3, 2009
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

...a compelling, surprisingly suspenseful little film noir.

Full Review… | January 18, 2007
Reel Film Reviews

No less than other noir classics, The Dark Corner is full of sadistic bits of business.

Full Review… | December 24, 2005
Slant Magazine

A superb film noir in every way possible.

Full Review… | November 4, 2004
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Nifty, effective little thriller.

March 1, 2004
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Quote not available.

June 28, 2005

Audience Reviews for The Dark Corner

Standard noir about a twice framed private eye (Mark Stevens) with all the usual suspects: the muscle (William Bendix), the brains: (Clifton Webb) and the beauty (Cathy Downs). The difference here is the curve: Lucille Ball. As secretary/love interest/eye candy to the gumshoe ... it almost seems as if her part were added on. Some trying-to-be-hardboiled-like-Dashiell-Hammett-would-write dialogue don't help none and often adds the unintended air of comic spoof of the genre, overcome in the closing third of the piece. Watchable one time.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

Except for a few good dialogues, the movie has nothing in its favor. It's heavily predictable & short of twists for a film-noir, and lacks the execution that keeps you hooked in a thrilling crime drama. Avoidable as watchable.

familiar stranger
familiar stranger

Super Reviewer


It's hard for a film to be dark and foreboding when Lucy is around, she sparkles far too much for film noir. Her gams may say Double Indemnity but her personality screams Duck Soup.

Randy Tippy
Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

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