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Millionaire industrialist Walter Williams is marked for murder by his sexy young wife and her seedy lover. When the insidious plot ends in a fiery disaster, Williams is thought dead. In reality, he finds himself wi
Top Customer Reviews
The straightforward direction is by Arthur Lubin, who would release the first of five Francis the Talking Mule movies the year IMPACT was released. Mr. Lubin also developed the Mr. Ed television series, as well as directing Maverick and Bonanza. This is a piece with those other works; not a lot of style but uniformly entertaining.
Brian Donlevy is excellent as the wronged husband. In a scene that was probably more shocking in 1949 than it is today, Donlevy sobs uncontrollably. Oddly enough the two women in the movie - Good Girl Ella Raines and Bad Girl/Scheming Wife Helen Walker let drop nary a sincere tear. Walker's character does indeed put on a show of tears for the suspicious detective, played with a slight Irish brogue by the always reliable Charles Coburn.
If you're expecting cartons of cigarettes and a city full of shadowed streets you're going to be disappointed. There's more than a touch of evil in this one, but it's not the focal point. If you want a good story competently told, this is for you. IMPACT is a lot of fun.
I have read other reviews that claim that Impact does not fall within the typical film-noir genre. I see where they are saying this, but I do not agree. Lubin, I believe, was creating a classy film-noir for his audience, but he tricked us. He not only tricked us from the beginning of the film to the end, but also where the film-noir style should be placed. We assume that the because Brian Donlevy is our centralized character that he has to be the dark and brooding one the entire time, causing the sensation of film-noir. I saw this film in a different light. As Lubin kept Donlevy in the eye of the camera for most of the film, I thought that the true sinister, dark, brooding, spooky, and edgy character was Irene. Helen Walker did a superb job with this role.Read more ›
This is a nicely done semi-noir, not quite an A movie, more like a B-plus. Donlevy plays Williams with his usual stolid directness and is very effective as a man who realizes his wife played him for a fool. When, gradually recovering his memory, he finds himself drifting into the small town of Larkspur, Idaho, he's torn between wanting vengeance on his wife and the prospects for a new life among honest people, doing the work of a car mechanic that he does well, and finding love in the person of Marsha Peters (Ella Raines). When Williams learns that his wife has been accused of planning his murder, he is inclined to let it happen. Marsha convinces him to return to San Francisco and set the record strait. When the tables are turned and Williams is accused of murdering his wife's boy friend, it becomes a race for Marsha to find the evidence that will clear Williams and implicate the wife.
Charles Coburn plays Lt. Tom Quincey, an elderly cop due to retire in a year who senses something fishy about the wife's story and decides to look into things more closely. Coburn is the engine who keeps the story on track; without him the story line could become convoluted. As it is, he keeps the plot chugging along.Read more ›
The film begins with Brian Donlevy showing his firm side as head of a major construction company based in San Francisco. When the board of directors refuses to approve new plant construction he nonchalantly tells them that he will go elsewhere and put the same plan into effect. A 9-0 vote against then turns quickly into a unanimous margin in Donlevy's favor, showing how invaluable the board recognizes him to be.
Donlevy's Achilles heel is quickly recognized when he returns to the posh Nob Hill apartment he shares with beautiful, elegantly attired wife Helen Walker. Her pet name for Donlevy of "Softy" has him readily assenting. He tells her that she is the one person that causes the tough business executive to melt.
Walker causes Donlevy to gush while she in turn double deals. Using a bad toothache as a pretext for not traveling with Donlevy to Lake Tahoe, after which he will proceed on to Denver on business, she pulls off a scheme with paramour Tony Barrett. He is allegedly her "cousin" from Chicago.
After Walker tells Donlevy "regrettably" that she cannot make the trip with her toothache bothering her, she asks him if he will give her cousin a ride as far as Denver, where the executive has business activity scheduled.
Donlevy falls into her web and agrees.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Nice story. I always like Brian Donlevy and the women are just gorgeous to watch.Published 10 days ago by sportsfan
An interesting twist as the spouse rigs a murder and the victim ends up being the lover, not the spouse.Published 1 month ago by Schnauzerbark
Good performance by Brian Donlevy. Well developed crime story.Published 1 month ago by Susie Giamalva
I feel this film is a classic. Perhaps not in the same conversation as "Gone with the Wind" or "Ben Hur", but it is a really good film. Worth the watch!Published 1 month ago by Buz
An amazing film noir gem that doesn't get its due. The acting is superb and the plot isn't formulatic. If you are a film noir fan I suggest you watch this immediately. Read morePublished 1 month ago by OldSchool
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