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The Films of Joseph L. Mankiewicz

Dragonwyck

Somewhere in the Night (October 10/05)

Somewhere in the Night casts John Hodiak as George Taylor, a soldier who wakes up in a military hospital with a case of complete and total amnesia. His only clues are two notes: one from a jilted lover, and another from a business associate named Larry Cravat. Because Cravat has left $5000 for Taylor in a Los Angeles bank, Taylor figures that's the best place to start searching for his true identity - although it's not long before mobsters and cops are after him, all of whom want to track down Cravat and recover two million dollars he stole some years earlier. Featuring expectedly steady direction from Joseph L. Mankiewicz, Somewhere in the Night is an engaging noir that - due to a particularly complicated screenplay by Mankiewicz and Howard Dimsdale - demands an attentive viewer. Of course, it wouldn't be a film noir without the inclusion of certain elements - tough guys, crafty dames, and some exceedingly hard-boiled dialogue (ie "in about two minutes, a bouncer's coming back in here with no sense of humor; he's a foot bigger than you in all directions") - while the film's labyrinthine storyline effectively keeps the viewer guessing throughout. Having said that, Somewhere in the Night does suffer from a slight case of overlength and the complex plot eventually becomes convoluted - though there is a genuinely unexpected twist towards the end.

out of

The Late George Apley

The Ghost and Mrs. Muir

Escape

A Letter to Three Wives

House of Strangers

No Way Out

All About Eve

People Will Talk

5 Fingers

Julius Caesar

The Barefoot Contessa

Guys and Dolls

The Quiet American

Suddenly, Last Summer

Cleopatra

Carol for Another Christmas

The Honey Pot

There was a crooked man...

Sleuth

© David Nusair