EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|OUT OF THE FOG (director: Anatole Litvak; screenwriters: Richard Macaulay/Robert Rossen/Jerry Wald/based on the play The Gentle People by Irwin Shaw; cinematographer: James Wong Howe; editor: Warren Low; music: Heinz Roemheld; cast: Ida Lupino (Stella Goodwin), John Garfield (Harold Goff), Thomas Mitchell (Jonah Goodwin), Aline MacMahon (Florence Goodwin), Eddie Albert (George Watkins), John Qualen (Olaf Knudsen), Odette Myrtil (Caroline), Robert Homans (Officer Magruder), George Tobias (Igor), Leo Gorcey (Eddie, bartender); Runtime: 85; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Hal B. Wallis/Henry Blanke; Warner Brothers; 1941)|
how heavy-handed this routine exploitation crime drama comes across,
the final result is not bad for such a rotten film."
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Anatole Litvak ("The
Night of the Generals"/"The Snake Pit"/"Sorry, Wrong Number") directs this awkwardly made dark
melodrama, that's based on the pessimistic 1938 play The Gentle People by Irwin Shaw. It was
meant to be an anti-fascist film, as the stage version leaves the thug
(a symbol for fascism) unpunished. The movie version ends on a more
upbeat note than the disappointing stage version, as the amoral
ruthless criminal gets his comeuppance at the end (the Hays Office would not
allow Hollywood to let criminals go unpunished). Writers Richard Macaulay, Robert Rossen and Jerry
Wald give it a comical twist, while stars Ida Lupino and John Garfield give it energetic star power.
Considering how heavy-handed this routine exploitation crime drama
comes across, the final result is not bad for such a rotten film.
Vicious loan shark Harold Goff (John Garfield) runs a protection racket in Sheepshead Bay
in Brooklyn and terrorizes
boat owners to pay for protection or have their boat go up in flames.
The thug even picks on small-timers like chef Olaf Knudsen (John
Qualen) and tailor Jonah
Mitchell), peaceful poor
workers who are partners in a small fishing boat docked at
Sheepshead Bay. Goff forces the two to pay him $5 a week for boat
attractive daughter, Stella (Ida
Lupino), a telephone operator, is unhappy with her lot in life and
feels unsatisfied with her nice-guy regular boyfriend George (Eddie
Albert), and becomes Goff's girlfriend despite knowing he's extorting
her caring pop. Stella thinks the go-getter can make her life more
exciting and take her away from her dead-end existence. It was hard to
believe that she's still viewed as a good girl despite her callous
When the two vics try to get
Goff arrested for extortion, the law sides with the criminal because
they signed a loan agreement. Thereby the vics take the law into their
own hands. After a struggle on their tub Goff falls overboard and
drowns, and they recover his wallet with the extortion money they paid
REVIEWED ON 1/23/2011 GRADE: C
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ