Academy Award(r) winner Humphrey Bogart is at his best as a hardboiled sleuth in this '40s film noir classic. In one of his most exciting roles, the inimitable Bogie plays Rip Murdock, an ex-G.I. trying to find out who framed his pal Johnny for murder--and then rubbed him out! Tracing his war buddy'sshadowy past leads Rip to Coral Chandler (Lizabeth Scott), who was once Johnny's sweetheart. Now she's a chanteuse in a nightclub run by a brutal gangster, Martinelli (Morris Carnovsky). Rip gets a taste of the beautiful blonde's seductive charms and soon finds himself ensnared in a twisted web of deceit and danger. Is Coral an innocent thrush - or is she a predatory siren leading Bogie to the DEAD RECKONING?
The shadow of World War II falls over this stateside film noir thriller about a GI paratrooper (Humphrey Bogart) who trails his AWOL war buddy to a treacherous city populated by gamblers, goons, pug cops, and the smoky, suspicious Lizabeth Scott, a seductive femme who may be fatale. Bogie's tight lipped, war hardened intensity dominates the B roster of supporting actors (Morris Carnovsky as a finicky nightclub owner with a gambling sideline, Marvin Miller as his brutal baby-faced thug) and the plot echoes with elements of earlier Bogie classics The Big Sleep and The Maltese Falcon recast on a low budget. Scott is, for all her fog-voiced sultriness, no Lauren Bacall, but her mannered performance is appropriately ambiguous and the film's cynical edge, ruthless desperation, and tarnished view of small-time hoodlums with big dreams casts a darker shadow unique to Hollywood's postwar funk. --Sean Axmaker