For Reel


Where Danger Lives (1950)
July 26, 2015, 3:07 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: John Farrow
4.5 Stars
Where Danger LivesThe protagonist played by Robert Mitchum in Where Danger Lives isn’t the typical detective or drifter that one might expect of a film noir, but rather a successful doctor who has a particular gift in dealing with children. In the opening scene, he’s reading a bedtime story to a girl in an iron lung. As is expected of the genre, however, he will soon be taken on a downward spiral, led to hell by a woman that he should have never fallen in love with in the first place (Faith Domergue). Worse than the common, devious femme fatale, Domergue plays a woman who is certifiably insane. Charles Bennett penned the screenplay, a frequent collaborator with Hitchcock who contributes a number of amusing, surreal tangents on the couple’s road trip to Mexico. In one scene, Mitchum and Domergue find themselves captives in a small town based on the simple fact that they aren’t bearded. But what really makes Where Danger Lives special is the conceit that Mitchum spends almost the entirety of the picture concussed, trudging through the action half-asleep and disoriented. It’s a perfect capitalization on the nightmarish quality of the genre, and Mitchum is just the man to give a sleepy, doomed performance.

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