I am a sucker for gumshoe mysteries. I am a sucker for Humphrey Bogart. I am a sucker about movies.
This film, directed by Nicholas Ray (Rebel Without A Cause, Flying Leathernecks), has it all. Bogey is a writer in Hollywood who is suspected of killing a young woman. He is a violent hardcase who is kinda down on his luck and defending himself of the charges isn't something he can do very well.
There is a whole lot going on in this one. Murder, 50's Hollywood, struggling hollywood talent... Bogey brings it in all the ways that he does. He's slick, hard and charming as hell. I think everyone loves this guy and never can figure out exactly why. Bogey is the kinda guy the Colonel likes a lot.
What's really fun is how the case keeps coming in and out of conversation in work and social events and the suspicion and paranoia build. All the while, you are getting bits and pieces of clues that can help us kinda solve the case on out own.
Ray did a hell of a job in shooting this badboy too. With all the limitations that setup shots had in the 50's, he made good use of close up and obliques. It's a pretty movie.