The Big Clock (1948)

According to my records I have seen this, but damned if I know when or remember any details… Interesting to see how, not unlike D.O.A., it begins in comparatively mild if not fluffy fashion before heading somewhere darker (albeit nowhere near as dark as that film, and Elsa Lanchester’s comedy relief artist was not the happiest of additions to the ensemble); Ray Milland plays a magazine editor assigned by his publisher (Charles Laughton in fairly unpleasant form) to investigate a murder apparently committed by a mysterious unidentified man, but he himself is the mysterious unidentified man he’s been assigned to track down. Obviously this creates an interesting complication whereby he has to sabotage his own investigation without looking like he’s doing so, but the situation is complicated further by the murder having actually been committed by his own boss… who’s going to get who first? This one’s kind of the odd man out in the first Universal Film Noir box in that Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake aren’t in it, but director John Farrow had directed a film before this starring Ladd, so… A perfectly pleasing conclusion to a generally pretty good collection of films; I’ll be making my way through volume 2 (and the MGM noir set) shortly.

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