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High Tide

Posted by martinteller on February 4, 2015

Normally if I were writing a review of a noir, especially a lesser-known one, I’d start off with a plot capsule.  But I don’t think it’s worth it in this case.  The story is pretty convoluted and wouldn’t entice anyone to see it anyway.  Basically, it’s a rather nondescript tale of a reporter turned private investigator who gets hired by his former editor to protect him.  Likewise, the stars — Lee Tracy and Don Castle — aren’t much of a draw either.  Tracy’s got a decent crusty-old-sage going on and Castle has a passable amount of Clark Cable meets Dick Powell charm.  Most memorable is Julie Bishop as a femme fatale type, with Anabel Shaw in the thankless “good girl” role.  Most familiar to noir aficionados will be Regis Toomey as the hard-edged detective, but he gets little room to make an impression.  It all ends with a twist that requires way too much explaining.  You can probably tell I wasn’t too crazy about this one, but it wasn’t really that bad.  It didn’t help that the copy I saw was a VHS transfer with a muddy image and lots of hiss on the soundtrack.  But there’s some decent writing here and it’s 67 minutes with virtually no fat so it’s an easy watch.  Can’t say I recommend it very much though… John Reinhardt did much better with The Guilty and Chicago Calling.  Rating: Fair (67)


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