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ERROL23

Born To Kill(1947)

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Helen(Claire Trevor)says goodbye to her lawyer after a divorce.She goes to a rooming house owned by Mrs Kraft(Ester Howard)MRS Kraft and her friend,Laury Palmer(Isabel Jewell)are talking about Laurys boyfriend Sam(Lawrence Tierney)an exfighter and her latest boyfriend Danny(Tony Barrett)a small time hood.

Sam meets Laury and Danny at a gambling casino and in a jealous rage kills them both.

Sam tells his roommate Marty(Elisha Cook JR)about it and Marty gives him money for a train ticket.

On the train Sam meets Helen and she tells him shes heading home to her rich sister,Georgia(Audrey Long)Helen invites Sam out to meet Georgia and rich bachelor,Fred(Philip Terry)who shes hoping to marry.

Georgia falls for Sam and he marries her for her money much to Helens anger.

MRS Kraft,saddened by Laurys death hires shifty,greedy,private detective Albert Arnett(Walter Slezak)to find Laurys killer.Arnett gets a lead when he follows Marty who leads him to Sam.

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love this film...I consider it the "nastiest noir ever made"...basicaly, "everybody gets whacked"...hard to believe that it was directed by Rovert Wise!!!!

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There will never be another Claire Trevor. She is so great in this. I can't imagine anyone else carrying this off like she did.

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I just saw this again on the Noir TCM program they have on Sunday mornings.

 

Robert Wise is one of my favorite directors and is one of the most versatile. Tierney is frightening in his brutality in this film. He does not appear to have an upper lip so he constantly has a cruel expression, and even when he smiles it looks more like a sneer. Claire Trevor is excellent as the socialite who has some problems of her own. And Elisha Cook Jr has one of his best roles as Tierney's devoted friend who seems to be somewhat level headed, until he pulls a knife.

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Robert Wise's work with Val Lewton and company at RKO serves him well in Born to Kill.  Great cast; I love everybody's performances and a special shout out to "glamour girl" Esther Howard.  Excellent noir and just about perfect all the way around.

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