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Assassin Without a Face
on May 12, 2008
Until I saw it listed in a French DVD catalog, I didn't even remember that "Follow Me Quietly" existed. Picking it up more out of completism because of its co-story credit for Anthony Mann (who may have directed some sequences) than out of hope, it turns out to be a highly enjoyable sleeper. True, it's little more than a highly disposable studio programmer, but it moves briskly along at just over an hour and is filled with memorable moments, be it a newspaper editor dictating the story of his own murder or a conversation with a dummy of a faceless serial killer that has a neat payoff that has no bearing on the rest of the film whatsoever beyond just being a good scene. There's some fun in the sparring between William Lundigan's cop and Dorothy Patrick's rookie reporter for a downmarket crime magazine that owes much to director Richard Fleischer's neat touch with dialogue that would be much better utilised on The Narrow Margin. Mann's signature is evident in the finale, prefiguring his beloved mountain/canyon shootouts by having the finale take place in a chemical factory's gantries and platforms.
Nothing special, but just the welcome sight of pros doing their job much better than anyone asked them to. For once the French title, Assassin Without a Face, seems a better fit than the American, the relevance of which only becomes apparent in the penultimate scene.