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(Review originally written at 15 October 2009)

This blackmail movie should perhaps be called a thriller rather than a film-noir because of its main concept. It's a thriller in its classic form, like still genre movies got made this present day.

It's a nicely written movie that is basically entirely about a woman being blackmailed for a relationship her underage daughter had with a found murdered man. The woman is trying to protect her family and is trying to hide from them what is going on and at the same time she's struggling to get the money, which isn't a lot but more than she has on her bank account. It's refreshing that this movie is about middle-class persons for a change. These type of movies would normally being about upstanding people from the higher classes of life.

It's a quite small movie in terms of its budget, which is a bit notable at times but overall you also just don't need a big budget for a movie, with a script such as this one has. It's perhaps also a bit of an overlooked movie, that isn't that well known.

It still remains a technically made movie, with some nice camera-work at times. Director Max Ophüls wasn't really a Hollywood director and he only directed an handful of American movies but with this movie he perfectly adapts its style to the Hollywood standards of that time.

I really liked James Mason in this movie. The moment he enters the story he truly starts to uplift the movie to even greater heights. Also the other, mostly unknown, actors are good in this movie.

A nice blackmail movie with a fresh and well written story.

8/10

About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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