*** out of 5
" Your conscience? You say it like it's a dirty word!"
Not Dick Powell's best noir outing, but has some moments of greatness, and some excellent performances despite a lethargic opening, it picks up quickly. Lizabeth Scott is really good in this, and Raymond Burr's performance easily ranks up there with Van Heflin from The Prowler as one of the creepiest characters in noir. One element I liked was the way the film repeats 3 times throughout the film a similar scene of Powell walking into work through the office on the way to his desk, and the way the scene is played each time perfectly reflects the dramatic progression of the story. The first time, in the beginning, he is listless, reflecting his dissatisfaction with his life, marriage, and career path. The second time is after spending a night out on the town with Lizabeth Scott's character; he is newly enlivened, happily greeting everyone as he passes them; she has added a new joy to his life, and it shows. The final office entrance is near the end, as the darkness of his wrong choices is closing in on him, and he has lost all the joy of life he previously had. Now he has no hope for the future. Now he is a true noir character whose sins have come back to punish him.