The Man Who Cheated Himself
1950, Felix Feist, USA, 80 min.
With Lee J. Cobb, Jane Wyatt, John Dall
- Sat, Nov 23rd 3:00pm
- Mon, Nov 25th 6:00pm
"Under Feist's watchful eye, the film takes the hard-boiled noir and turns it into visual poetry."—Matthew Lucas, From the Front Row
MAN is a solid entry in the flawed-cop cycle (THE PROWLER, WHERE THE SIDEWALK ENDS, ON DANGEROUS GROUND, etc.) that reinvigorated the crime genre in the early 1950s. As in those films, the excruciatingly compromised position of the protagonist provides a rich opportunity for the actor in the leading role, here taken by Lee J. Cobb, fresh off his legendary performance in the original stage production of Death of a Salesman. Cobb plays Ed Cullen, a veteran San Francisco homicide detective who covers up a killing committed by his wealthy mistress (Wyatt, a long way from Father Knows Best). Tension mounts when Cullen's kid brother (Dall of ROPE and GUN CRAZY), recently assigned to the homicide division and eager to prove himself, starts circling in on the truth. Ace cinematographer Russell Harlan (GUN CRAZY, RIO BRAVO) makes excellent use of San Francisco locations, especially in the climactic showdown set at windswept, eerily deserted Fort Point. 35mm. Preservation funding provided by the Film Noir Foundation in memory of Joseph K. McLaughlin. (MR)