For Reel

A Dangerous Profession (1949)
April 11, 2016, 5:26 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Ted Tetzlaff
1.5 Stars
A Dangerous ProfessionGeorge Raft and Pat O’Brien were in the twilight of their careers by the time A Dangerous Profession made it to movie screens, and it is clear that it was the sort of the project that quickly cashed in on their established screen personas without much thought. Raft plays a bail bondsman—he’s a morally dubious professional who slyly plays within his own code. His cool demeanor will be challenged when an old flame (Ella Raines) shows up to bring his world into complete disarray. The noir plot is a familiar one, but the world of bail bonds did have some potential. In a lively opening montage, a narrator discusses not just what bonds are, but how profitable the business is, and how susceptible it can be to corruption. From there on, however, the picture meanders through a murder plot that barely registers due to poorly-sketched, forgettable characters and a visual style that does nothing to set the tone (which becomes especially noticeable given that the picture is directed by Ted Tetzlaff, whose visuals created the atmosphere of some of the great thrillers of the 1940s). The increasingly convoluted plot offers none of the excitement of The Big Sleep, instead inviting viewers to check out long before the short running time is exhausted.

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