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Senin, 30 Mei 2011

Arthur Lubin - Impact (1949)

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"Impact: the force with which two lives come together...
Reviewer - David Forehand
...sometimes for good, sometimes for evil." With that definition, this entertaining film noir/crime drama from 1949 begins to tell the story of Walter Williams (played by the vastly underated Brian DonLevy), a married man whose life is about to change forever. His adulterous, heartless wife, Irene (Helen Walker) and her secret lover, Jim Torrance, are plotting his death in an "accidental" car crash. But the plan goes wrong and Torrance is killed instead. His body was burned beyond recognition in Walter's car, so both Irene and the police have no doubt that it was Walter's body, not Torrance's.
Walter Williams then assumes a new identity and begins a new life in a small Idaho town where he meets and falls in love with Marsha Peters (played by Ella Raines). This part was rather unconvincing to me because let's face it, Ella Raines was no "bombshell"! With his evil wife Irene about to go to trial for his murder, Walter is persuaded by Marsha to return to San Fransisco to tell her the truth. Irene pays him back by claiming to the police that he threatened to kill her and that he murdered Torrance. Now facing a murder charge, his girlfriend Marsha and a police lieutenant (played by Charles Coburn) are the only ones who can find the truth and clear his name before it's too late!
"Impact" is not totally film noir (despite the dvd marketing), although it has several noir elements. It's certainly no masterpiece, but it's very entertaining and it's a rare chance to see Brian Donlevy in a starring role. One of the film's most memorable scenes is when Walter (Donlevy) cries after discovering his wife's involvment in his attempted murder. The Alpha dvd has a surprisingly excellent picture and sound quality for most of the movie, except for the first 30 minutes or so where a slightly visible, vertical line appears in the middle of the screen. This is a minor flaw, however, and doesn't detract from the movie itself. Overall, highly recommended.

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