Follow Me Quietly (1949)

Article #1517 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 5-10-2005
Posting Date: 10-7-2005
Directed by Richard Fleischer
Featuring William Lundigan, Dorothy Patrick, Jeff Corey

Police are hunting for a serial killer known as the Judge.

When I first picked up Tom Petty and the Heartbreaker’s album, “Damn the Torpedoes”, I found myself rather disappointed by it. My problem was that Petty performed his songs with such drama that I was led to believe that the songs themselves would have a little more substance to them when, in fact, I found them to be fairly ordinary love songs for the most part. I was left feeling that the drama was merely a pose.

I feel somewhat the same about this movie. It is full of wonderfully powerful moments that lead you to believe that there’s going to turn out to be a little more to it than there actually is. The end of the movie left me disappointed; I was expecting something more than just a crime thriller, but that’s all I really got from it.

Still, I should have seen it coming; the romance between the detective and the tabloid journalist that makes up a goodly portion of the running time never once felt to me like it was going anyplace interesting, and sure enough, it doesn’t. In fact, the amount of time spent on it only convinced me that they didn’t really have much of a story. Still, when all is said and done, it’s the strong parts of this movie that will stick with you, because they’re fairly breathtaking. The movie certainly uses rain effectively to build up tension, and the dummy modeled off of the killer adds an eerie touch to the proceedings (and even has a good payoff scene). Still, the finest moment in the movie is when the killer comes to the realization that the police are waiting for him at just the moment when we first see the killer’s face; this scene will stick in your memory long after you’ve forgotten the rest of the movie. So, in the final evaluation, this one is worth catching for its high points. Just don’t expect it to transcend itself. Fans of fantastic cinema will recognize Jeff Corey and Nestor Paiva, and that’s Douglas Spencer (Scotty in THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD) as the man who confesses to the crimes.


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