Genre: Crime, Drama, Film-Noir
Plot: The Movie was based on a book by James M Cain. Nick Smith, the middle-aged proprietor of a roadside restaurant, hires drifter Frank Chambers as a handyman. Frank eventually begins an affair with Nick's beautiful wife Cora, who talks Frank into helping her kill Nick, by "accident." But there are always repercussions, as this pair found out.
Key Characters: Cora Smith (Lana Turner), Nick Smith (Cecil Kellaway), Frank Chambers (John Garfield), Arthur Keats (Hume Cronyn), Kyle Sackett (Leon Ames)
Review: we rated as 3.5 out of 5.
We selected this movie after discussing the term film-noir in April. This term was originally applied to American thriller or detective films made in the period 1944–54, a style or genre of cinematographic film marked by a mood of pessimism, fatalism, and menace. The performances were good, less wooden that the performances in last month’s movie. In comparing the movie with Please Murder Me, we found the theme different with Cora, the key female character, much less manipulative than Myra. This time it was the defence lawyer who was manipulative. While Nick and Cora were not an ideal couple, Cora had married him because he was the first person who had mentioned the word marriage, while others in her life were just interested in her beauty. While Cora and Frank do not end up in prison for killing Nick, Cora dies as a result of an authentic accident, and Nick is convicted of her murder. In the final scene, Frank talks about the postman always ringing twice – justice will prevail in the end. The theme was very much about relationships, with twists that kept you guessing, but it was not as dark as Please Murder me, and one of our group though it was more of a melodrama.
Further: Our May movie will be Little Miss Sunshine starring Toni Collette. Pat will be running the session as I will be in Scotland. Have a great time.