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Saturday, September 22, 2012

Shockproof (1949)

After serving a murder sentence, a young woman (Patricia Knight) is paroled. Under the terms of her parole, she's forbidden to see the lover (John Baragrey) she killed for. But when her parole officer (Cornel Wilde) begins to fall in love with her, she finds herself torn between the two men. The unlikely duo of Samuel Fuller, who co-wrote the screenplay, and director Douglas Sirk produced this noir tale of two people who find themselves trapped in circumstances beyond their control which threatens any happiness they might have had. Sirk skillfully maneuvers the net that pulls us as well as its protagonists until we reach the inevitable dead end. Alas, the film should have ended a few minutes before it does, thus sparing us the phony "happy" ending (apparently a studio decision) which demeans everything that went on before it and alters Fuller's original darker ending. The lovely Knight, married to Wilde at the time, seems primed for bigger things but after two more films, her career was over. The underscore is by George Duning (FROM HERE TO ETERNITY). With Esther Minciotti (MARTY), Ann Shoemaker and King Donovan.

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