Directed by Richard Quine
Written by Roy Huggins from novels by Thomas Rafferty and Bill S. Ballinger
Columbia Pictures Corporation
First viewing/Columbia Pictures Film Noir Classics, Vol. 2
Lona McLane: Surprise me.
This solid film noir features Kim Novak’s first screen appearance in a leading role. Fred MacMurray and Dorothy Malone also shine.
As the story begins, Paul Sheridan (MacMurray) successfully picks up blonde bombshell Lona McLane (Novak). It is apparently lust at first site for her. We soon learn that Paul is actually a detective conducting surveillance on Lona, who is being kept by a gangster who recently absconded with a couple of hundred thousand dollars in a bank heist. Paul’s partner is slowly falling in love with Lona’s next door neighbor Ann Stewart (Malone), a hard-working nurse.
Paul is in way over his head and an easy mark for Lona, who suggests that the couple make off with the loot themselves. As time goes on, he gets himself deeper and deeper in trouble. With E.G. Marshall as the surveillance team’s boss.
This is pretty good. MacMurray is very good in a part not too far from the one he played in Double Indemnity. I don’t generally think too much Novak as an actress, but she is certainly very beautiful and convincing as a femme fatale here.