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Sunday, February 20, 2011

BACKFIRE (1950)

Edmund O’Brien & Gordon MacRae are old army pals whose plans to start a ranch together get put on hold when O’Brien goes missing after a murder. MacRae, fresh out of rehab, along with his nurse/fiancé, Virginia Mayo, turn amateur sleuth to find out what happened. The film has all the trappings of a decent mid-budget noir, but Vincent Sherman’s megging is all but faceless. And even as a little whodunit, the script is lackadaisical stuff with MacRae getting clue-filled flashbacks from every person he visits. Ed Begley shows some spark as a blustery police dick who hates DIY crimebusters and Viveca Lindfors as O’Brien’s flame, is allowed a bit of glamor & a verse of the exquisite chansonParlez-Moi D’Amour,’ the great Lucienne Boyer hit from the early ‘30s.

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