Dead Reckoning, 1947
Humphrey Bogart is Rip, a soldier who investigates the disappearance of Johnny, a decorated war hero. Eventually, there is gambling, murder, deceit, and a beautiful, mysterious woman.
Bogart does a good job with Rip. He seems like he’s just slouched down the wrong alley for awhile and will soon find his way back to the Big Sleep or the Maltese Falcon.
The story is convoluted and unlikely but that’s OK for film noir.
The actress playing Dusty (Lizabeth Scott) is just not compelling enough to be the woman all the guys want. The script wants you to feel sympathy for Dusty but the actress lacks all charisma and it is impossible. I so wanted Lauren Becall to show up and slap her.
The movie is told in flashback but when it reaches the present, it then it takes a thousand hours to wrap up.
Furthermore, there is this awful section of misogynist theorizing. Rip explains to Dusty that men want women to be the size of dolls and stay in their pockets until it’s time for sex. (Yes, really. This is the conversation.)
Not worth it, unless you adore Bogart.