Man in the Dark (1953)

Aricle 2897 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 4-13-2009
Posting Date: 7-19-2009
Directed by Lew Landers
Featuring Edmond O’Brien, Audrey Totter, Ted de Corsia
Country: USA

A criminal who masterminded a payroll robbery is the subject of a brain operation that is designed to eliminate his criminal tendencies. It also gives him amnesia about his former life. However, he is then kidnapped by his old cronies who want to find out where he hid the money from the robbery…

According to IMDB, this is a remake of THE MAN WHO LIVED TWICE, and it certainly shares the basic premise of that movie. It does, however, take the story in a different (and much more conventional) direction. It also updates it, by giving it a noirish feel and shooting it in 3-D, and, though I saw it flat, it looks like it must have been fun if seen that way. The noir touches are less successful; all too often, the dialogue comes off as forced and phony rather than sharp and crackling. Still, the movie is watchable and quite entertaining, and with a running time of only seventy minutes, it doesn’t wear out its welcome, though its occasionally rushing to get to some plot points while taking its time to get to others ends up leaving it feeling a bit silly. There’s a great dream sequence, though, in which the criminal finds himself being chased by cops in an amusement park, even when he gets on a bumper car ride.

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