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Dark Corner, The (TCF 1946, Lucille Ball, Clifton Webb)



A crisp thriller, one of the best examples of the post-war detective film noir, which casts Mark Stevens as Bradford Galt, a tough private eye who finds himself embroiled in Hardy Cathcart’s (Clifton Webb) ingenious plot to dispose of his wife’s lover.

The sharp screenplay by Jay Dratler and Bernard Schoenfeld gave Stevens one of his best roles, replete with tough and laconic Chandleresque dialogue, as the detective with a police record fighting to clear himself of suspicion of murder. Webb, playing an acid-tongued art gallery owner with homicide on his mind, tosses off aphorisms with polished skill and William Bendix as Stauffer makes a strong impression in the role of the sinister white-suited heavy who attempts to frame Cathcart for murder. He splendidly succeeds in combining sadism with a light Damon Runyon-esque touch.

The quartet of well played central roles is completed by Lucille Ball, playing completely and superbly against type (and getting the headline billing) as Kathleen, Galt’s secretary whose maternal instincts are brought out by the predicament in which her employer finds himself.

production details
USA / Twentieth Century Fox / 99 minutes / 1946

Director: Henry Hathaway
Writers: Jay Dratler, Bernard Schoenfeld based on a story by Leo Rosten,

Lucille Ball as Kathleen Stewart
Clifton Webb as Hardy Cathcart
William Bendix as Stauffer, alias Fred Foss
Kurt Kreuger as Anthony Jardine
Cathy Downs as Mari Cathcart
Eddie Heywood as Himself
Constance Collier as Mrs. Kingsley
Reed Hadley as Lt Frank Reeves
Mark Stevens as Bradford Galt

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