Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Strange Impersonation

1946, US, directed by Anthony Mann

The title is entirely apt for this borderline-insane plot that involves love rivals/disfigurement/assumed identities. More than once I had to mentally re-run the narrative twists and turns just to keep up -- especially because the pace is so brisk, as befits a picture under the Republic banner. Despite the complexities of the tale, Mann draws us in with just  a few brisk strokes, the narrative economy paralleling the overall low budget without seeming cheap, and he's clearly beginning to develop his distinctive visual style with this picture. Apart from one minor character who proved quite astonishingly irritating, my only reservation came with the film's big reveal, using a trick that popped up in several films in the mid-1940s.

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Boston, Massachusetts, United States