Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Don't duck 'Shoot to Kill'

Shoot to Kill (1947)
Starring: Edmund MacDonald, Russell Wade, Luana Walters and Robert Kent
Director: William Berke
Rating: Six of Ten Stars

A corrupt Assistant Distric Attorney (MacDonald) starts to aspire to true political and criminal greatness when his new secretary (Walters) encourages him to think big. But, she has an agenda of her own, and even as the ADA is playing various criminals against each other so he can emerge as the last man standing, other plans are being set into motion.

"Shoot to Kill" is a fairly standard crime drama that's made interesting by some nice plot twists and a Big Reveal that is actually rather surprising. (I spent most of the film thinking that it was borrowing from Shakespear's "MacBeth", but it turned out I was wrong.)

With fine performances by all actors (MacDonald and Walters in particular excel as a pair of devious, two-faced schemers that can't be trusted under any circimstances), and a fast-paced, clever plot where the standard issue wise-cracking reporter (Wade) has mercifully little actual screen-time, I think fans of classic crime dramas and film noir will find this a nice way to spend an hour.

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