Archive for January 25, 2021

A Quick Jolt of Noir

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , , on January 25, 2021 by dcairns

TRAPPED (1949) is directed by Richard Fleischer and has some striking visuals. It’s one of those how-the-Feds-protect-you procedurals that don’t really partake of noir’s more radical elements, but which frequently stimulate with their single source lightning, especially if John Alton is shooting. TRAPPED is filmed by Guy Roe, whose name rang no bells, but he’d clearly been paying attention. His other credits include RAILROADED! for Mann and ARMOURED CAR ROBBERY for Fleischer again.

The climax in a bus depot is really something, with striking perspective shots but even more brilliant sound: the puffing of a bus engine somewhere which fades up and down, providing a breathless, panting commentary on the action, dropping out to make you feel the quiet, then coming back in to build anticipation. There’s no sound editor credit so we may never know who was responsible.

Thanks to David Bordwell for alerting me to this one. The story is disjointed but Lloyd Bridges, Barbara Payton and John Hoyt are all great presences.