In this week’s episode of “Walk the Dark Street” we return to the Age of Classic Noir with the 1946 Bogey and Bacall vehicle, directed by Howard Hawks and with a screenplay written by none other than William Faulkner, adapted from a Raymond Chandler novel. Faulkner, later legendary for his simple, clear-cut storytelling and basic, almost child-like use of language is the perfect person to adapt this painfully easy to follow story about a simple family, a simple mystery and I’m simply lying to you. This film is not easy to follow and is less of a whodunit than it is a “why is my forehead throbbing now that the movie’s over?” sort of film. Sure, the cast is amazing, Howard Hawks’ direction is slick, tight, and speedy but is that enough to overcome a, um, SLIGHTLY convoluted plot that ends up with more holes in it than a . . . thing with a lot of holes? I believe I’ve mentioned that I’m not good at these noir similes, haven’t I? Well, give a listen, and see if this is muddled mess or the sort of movie where you don’t really know what’s happening but you just don’t care? I’ll be over here with my Big Book of Film Noir Similes so maybe I’ll have a handle on it by the end of this series.
Poll question: when you watch a mystery or thriller, do you prefer to try to figure out whodunit in advance or do you like to just let the story carry you along?