In the diner we see realism, nicely shot along the counter, we see the people in the diner, it looks like any diner we have been in over the years. The lighting is for the utilitarian aspect of being able to see what you are eating, and moving you through quickly, this is not a romantic spot to take a date. When the “killers” leave the counterman unties the cook and Nick Adams then sends Nick to warm the Swede.
We see Nick running through the alley, jumping over white picket fences along the way. The shot is angled down on him, much of the way, not unlike the shots in M as the crowd moves in on the killer. As we get to the Swede’s room things are different. You see the triangular shape of the lamp, then as Nick opens the door the triangular shadow of the lamp. Nick talking upright holding the door open, telling the Swede killers are coming. The Swede just lays there, his head in darkness, Nick talking excitedly, the Swede in a monotone. No reaction, no concern that he is about to die, he’s tired of hiding and he had done something wrong once.
This is an important scene in that the victim is just going to accept what he feels he has coming. The life is out of him, his position on the bed, his head in darkness, reminds one of a corpse. He’s already dead, just forgotten to die, and that is about to be fixed.