Monday, 19 January 2009

I’ll Get You For This (1950)

Middling George Raft vehicle plays like washed out noir (would that then be gris?), based on a James Hadley Chase novel. Raft plays an American gambler who comes to play in a small Italian seaside casino town, and soon finds himself being used as a patsy in an attempt to cover up a counterfeiting racket, made to look like the murderer of an undercover US Treasury official. Colleen Gray plays a wannabe artist, who is asked to pay off a debt she can't cover at the casino by being attentive to Raft; she's soon forced to go on the lam with Raft, hiding out in a splendid location - an entire abandoned town, unfortunately used with no imagination at all. A lot of not very exciting dodging and dashing goes on for the next hour; the finale, in which Gray is rescued by Raft from a fortress prison, does present a very early edition of what would become the women’s prison flick genre, with an icy butch female guard who gets her comeuppance in being stuffed into a cell with some vengeful streetwalkers. An interesting theme of remnant Italian fascism being tied in with the criminality does bubble under the surface. The film is directed with spurts of style and atmosphere by Joseph M. Newman, who later directed The George Raft Story (whether or not it presented the Charlie Kaufman-esque meta-movie insanity of Newman directing an actor playing Newman directing an actor playing Raft in this movie, I don’t know), and the result isn't entirely forgettable, but far from vital either.

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