‘When every prospect pleases, and only man is vile.’
One of ruthless and absolutely hardcore noir that captures the sinister, corrupt and nihilist tone so brilliantly. Here is a noir where no character is less important or trivial, Robert Wise captures the characters full of dark instinctual, behavioral, weaknesses. Especially the two lead players of opposite gender involved in their hunt for money. Sam is kind of tough, hotheaded impulsive masculine who punches first and asks later, he can kill anybody just out of his whimsical insecurity that he conceive in his head in a moment of uncontrolled frenzy. Helen is a suave and smart divorcee who’s chasing another man and she’s brilliant and irresistible femme fatale to watch from beginning to the end. Part of her is rotten and still she wins our sympathy as she’s the case who follows her heart and instinct in totally opposite directions. It’s hard to guess her motive or intentions from the very beginning of the film when she discovered the neighborhood murder and deliberately didn’t bring anybody’s attention. Money and lust is the chief vile here. There is an intense sexual tension and rivalry boiling on screen from the very moment of Helen and Sam’s encounter on gambling bet table.