Every now and then I like to review a movie that doesn’t get much attention these days.
Somewhere in the Night – Often packaged on DVD as that now coolest of genes the ‘Noir’ Somewhere…. really doesn’t fit into this category. It has elements of the noir such as the difficulty of the returning soldier to fit into society, a sort of femme fatale, psychological trauma but in the end it’s more a straight ahead crime film.
George Tailor awakes in a field hospital wounded by a grenade blast in WW2. He can’t speak his jaw is wired together, but worse he has no memory of who he is. The only clue is a damning letter found in his personal effects that tells him he is a thoroughly nasty person with no one in the world who may know who he is or call him a friend.
On leaving the service he is on the trail of his own past which leads to a nightclub, a possible fortune in a suitcase and the revelation that he may or may not be a murderer. A roll call of hustlers, criminals, nightclub singers, floozys and gangsters populate the adventure. You will probably guess the outcome well before the end but that doesn’t stop this being a fun movie.
John Hodiak plays the lead while Nancy Guild takes the female lead, both are good in their roles but lack that special something that say a Bogart or Bacall would bring to it. The supporting cast are more memorable Fritz Kortners as Dr Oracle, Sheldon Leonard as a thug and Richard Conte as a nightclub owner. None are well known names but you will recognise their faces from countless supporting roles.
The story seems hooey with its amnesia plot device but this was one of the first movies to really feature it and you cant help but wonder if this movie would have moved from competent crime movie to classic had they explored this theme in more depth.
Overall 3/5 far from a classic but entertaining none the less.