UCLA Festival of Preservation
dir. Arthur Ripley, US, 1946, 35mm, b/w, 86 min.
Combining an original setting and timely
story elements, Arthur D. Ripley crafts a highly original film noir. Chuck
Scott (Robert Cummings) is a down-on-his-luck ex-serviceman, badly in need of a
meal in post-war Miami. Stumbling upon a lost wallet, he traces the owner of
the billfold to a palatial home. Owner Eddie Roman (Steve Cochran), a suave
businessman, is pleased by “Scotty’s” honesty, and offers him a job as
chauffeur. From the side, taciturn Peter Lorre as Gino, Roman’s sidekick,
grimaces and bemoans these displays of honor and goodwill.
Scotty quickly catches on that Roman is bad
news, probably involved in the death of a business competitor, but he keeps his
mouth shut for the sake of his meal ticket. His resolve is tested, however,
when Roman’s trophy wife Lorna (Michèle Morgan) appeals to him for help in
secretly spiriting her from Miami to Havana as an escape from her soulless
existence. Once off American shores, the couple find common ground—and love.
But they discover it’s not so easy to escape Roman’s octopus-like reach and
influence. And soon, Scotty finds himself at the center of his own murder
35mm preservation print courtesy of the UCLA Film & Television Archive
Preservation funding provided by The Film Foundation and the Franco-American Cultural Fund
Preserved from the incomplete 35mm nitrate French composite dupe negative, and 16mm acetate picture and track negatives. Laboratory services by Cinetech, Deluxe Media Services, Fotokem Film and Video, Audio Mechanics, Chace Audio by Deluxe, DJ Audio.