Greetings, and welcome to VIEWING THE CLASSICS. Here you'll find capsule reviews of vintage movies from the early days of cinema through the 1970s, with a special emphasis on sci-fi, horror, and mystery movies. Be sure to check out the Pages links, where you can find a Film Index of all my reviews, links to the reviews organized by cast members, directors, and other contributors, and links to my reviews of the films of talented young director Joshua Kennedy.

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Sunday, February 14, 2016

Phantom Lady (1944)

Starring Franchot Tone, Ella Raines, Alan Curtis, Aurora, Thomas Gomez
Directed by Robert Siodmak
(actor & director credits courtesy

After a civil engineer is convicted of murdering his wife, his lovely assistant takes it upon herself to track down the woman who could provide his alibi.

A very effective thriller from Siodmak, one of the best directors of film noir in the 1940s, the picture boasts first rate photography from Woody Bredell, skillful editing from Arthur Hilton, and wonderful use of sound, with Raines' footfalls dominating a memorable sequence in which she trails a suspect.  A more famous scene finds Raines visiting a small room where a jazz band plays, with actor Elisha Cook's energetic drumming underscoring his lustful pursuit of the beauty.  Although the script and the performances don't stand out quite as much, it's a unique mystery well-tailored around Raines.

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