Edited by Solomon on 8/16/2017, 9:38 am
At any rate, I finally got around to watching it again and was pleasantly surprised by the quality, which does convey the blacks and whites quite well. The story surprised me too. My faulty recollection was that this was going to be like "The Woman in the Window", a cop-out, but it was not. It's a genuine mystery.
The story itself has a number of challenges of credibility, that it just about manages to stave off. Claire Trevor has to keep looking past Burgess Meredith's odd behavior, but then she has her own motives.
This one is rightly regarded as an early American noir and so should not be missed on that score. However, it's just an average movie and average noir because it doesn't make us feel or sense what should be the undercurrents of danger, threat, anxiety, manipulation and uncertainty. Granted, Burgess Meredith is working against a wall of unknowns, but it doesn't feel like Mark Stevens in a "Dark Corner". The casting of Meredith is a problem. The directing of Claire Trevor is another problem. The script seems to wander from one place to another during his quest and in their dialog with one another. It's rather hard to work up enthusiasm for this movie beyond its basic premise and the cinematography. By "Murder, My Sweet" (1944), the noir world is hitting on all cylinders.