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They Made Me a Fugitive

Posted by martinteller on April 3, 2010

Another British production in the Kino noir box.  I do prefer my noir to be made in the U.S.A., but it’s not an ironclad requirement.  This is otherwise such a sterling example of the genre, and besides, BritNoir does have one distinct advantage: it’s not shackled by the Hayes Code.  This is a bit more brutal than the average American noir, and ends on a more depressing note.  Cavalcanti directs the film wonderfully, full of deep shadows and tight framing and dramatic angles.  In one scene, the antagonist (nicely, nastily done by Griffith Jones) is about to beat up his ex.  For a moment, his pretty boy face is reflected in a distorted mirror, revealing his gruesome inner nature.  Trevor Howard is excellent in the lead, playing more of an anti-hero than his usual charming roles, but still sympathetic.  The story is a noir standard — framed man seeks revenge — and is done here very well, packing a lot of plot development into its 95 minutes.  Terrific movie throughout, very dark and tense and cynical.  The dialogue is perhaps not quite as snappy as the best American noir, but there are some pretty good lines.  Rating: 9

IMDb
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