The Crooked Way
1949, Robert Florey, USA, 90 min.
With John Payne, Ellen Drew, Sonny Tufts
- Sat, Nov 16th 5:15pm
- Mon, Nov 18th 6:00pm
"A superb film noir...suspenseful, exciting and gorgeously shot."—Keith Humphreys, Washington Monthly
This low-budget film noir features a deep dive into L.A.'s seedy nightworld, enriched by the shadowy genius of noir's greatest cinematographer, John Alton (RAW DEAL, THE BIG COMBO). Payne, the rumpled everyman of such classic noirs as 99 RIVER STREET and KANSAS CITY CONFIDENTIAL, plays a war vet whose memory has been erased by a piece of shrapnel. He goes to L.A. in search of his lost identity and discovers that he has a criminal past, an ex-wife (Drew), and a disgruntled partner (onetime punchline Tufts, effective in an atypically nasty role) who is looking to get even with him. The film's pervasive mood of postwar malaise is fittingly capped by a climactic shootout in a cluttered war-surplus warehouse. DCP digital. Preservation funding provided by The Film Foundation and The George Lucas Family Foundation. (MR)