Friday, August 31, 2012

Friday's Foreign Film Poster

Italian poster for Billy Wilder's comedy A FOREIGN AFFAIR starring Jean Arthur, Marlene Dietrich and John Lund.

Here's what just happened....

 I'm walking down the street with Rocky just a while ago - time for his after dinner ablutions - when a see a bicyclist heading down the opposite side of the street. (Luckily there were no cars anywhere near at the moment.) Suddenly the cyclist seems to skid and his front wheels hit the curb and he loses control of his bike and somehow, someway, he and the bike go sailing through the air and he lands flat on his back on the sidewalk with the bike on top of him.

I run across the street yelling, "Hey, hey, are you okay?" like a typical bystander. But soon as I saw him I could tell he was unconscious. At that moment a pickup comes up the side street, I look at the guy driving and I say, "Give me your cell phone. Dial 911." Half in English, half in Spanish as the guy looked Hispanic. ANYWAY, he dials the phone then hands it to me. I talk to the cops. All the while the guy is still unconscious. They tell me not to lift the bike off him, but I ignore that.

A woman pulls her vehicle to a stop across the street, she comes running to help. We lift the bike off the guy. The pick up truck leaves the scene. (Probably didn't want to hang around and talk to the cops.) Which is okay,  he had nothing to do with the accident.

Meanwhile, we keep telling the guy who is barely groggy, that he's going to be okay, the ambulance is on its way. He looks like he doesn't know what happened or where he is.

Some woman comes by in her car and says, "Is he okay?" Yeah right lady, he's lying on the sidewalk for his health. We're shooting a movie.

Now here's the lucky thing: the guy was wearing a bike helmet. My dears, if you ever doubted the wisdom of a helmet, I'm here to tell you I saw living proof of how it protected the guy. Didn't keep him from going unconscious, but it protected his head from much more wicked damage. I mean, he went PLOP! on the back of his head.

God only knows what would have happened if he hadn't been wearing a helmet.

Anyway, the cops show up, then the ambulance. Neighbors come running out, everyone's abuzz. Long story short, they were able to get the guy to stand - dizzily - then they helped him onto one of those boards - tied him on, just to be on the safe side - and into the ambulance he went. But it was obvious he was still very weak and he had a great thumping lump on his elbow.

I'm telling you, never a dull moment on my street.

At any rate, reason why I'm telling you all this is the helmet thing. Next time you feel like you can get by without one, don't.

Friday's Forgotten Books

It's Friday's Forgotten Books over at Patti Abbott's blog, Pattinase. And while Oscar Wilde doesn't qualify as forgotten, it never hurts to take another look at his celebrated wit and wisdom. Especially since 'wit' is so sorely lacking in the world these days.

Don't forget to check in at Patti's and check out the many links to other Forgotten (or Overlooked) Books. There's always an eclectic mix.

I've had this little book (published by the Peter Pauper Press) since I was a kid in high school. It's one of the few books which instantly sets me back in a different time. How it's survived the many years of being hauled around from pillar to post and places in-between remains a mystery. I have very few things from the Jurassic era of my youth, this book is one of them.

It's an small anthology of Oscar Wilde's more famous (and some, not so) bits of wisdom culled from his conversation and from his plays. I don't have to tell you much about Wilde, I'm assuming you know he was one of the great Irish playwrights, poets and general bon vivants of the Victorian age. He was also a homosexual at a time when English law claimed this to be a crime punishable by imprisonment. Read more about Oscar Wilde here.

Some of my favorite Wilde-isms:

'The truth is rarely pure and never simple. Modern life would be very tedious if it were either, and modern literature an impossibility.'

'The good end happily, the bad unhappily. That is what fiction means.'

'A cynic is a man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.'

'The world has grown suspicious of anything that looks like a happy married life.'

'My experience is that as soon as people are old enough to know better, they don't know anything at all.'

'Actions are the first tragedies in life, words are the second. Words are perhaps the worst. Words are merciless.'

'One should always play fairly when one has the winning cards.'

'The only thing to do with good advice is to pass it on. It is never of any use to oneself.'

"I can believe anything, provided it's incredible.'

'...nothing spoils romance so much as a sense of humor in the woman.'

'To get into the best society nowadays, one has either to feed people, amuse people, or shock people.'

'I choose my friends for their good looks, my acquaintances for their characters, and my enemies for their brains.'

'There are only two kinds of people who are really fascinating: people who know everything, and people who know nothing.'

'The public is wonderfully tolerant. It forgives everything except genius.'

'Life makes us pay too high a price for its wares, and we purchase the meanest of its secrets at a cost that is monstrous and infinite.'

'Cheap editions of great books may be delightful, but cheap editions of great men are absolutely detestable.'

'We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.'

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Review: The Solitary House by Lynn Shepherd

If you've read Charles Dickens' BLEAK HOUSE then Lynn Shepherd's THE SOLITARY HOUSE will probably seem more familiar to you than it did to me. Written by Shepherd to mark Charles Dickens' Bicentenary, this is a dark, atmospheric, expertly researched Victorian mystery with an enigmatic ending you won't soon forget.

In fact, THE SOLITARY HOUSE was one of the titles, Dickens considered giving his BLEAK HOUSE. Of course I didn't know that going in, but it makes sense. However, it's just as well things worked out as they did. Though 'Bleak' and 'Solitary' are both excellent words, applied to the existence of the wretched poor of Victorian London.

However, a minor quibble, I confess I found myself a bit lost along the way while reading this auxiliary (that's what I'm calling it, anyway) tale which features some of the characters drawn from Dickens coupled with the very bleak atmospherics Shepherd (and Dickens) were/are so good at. (I've been meaning to read BLEAK HOUSE and have a nice hardcover version right near the top of one of my TBR pile of books practically staring me in the face. Just haven't gotten around to it.)

But I think if like me, you're not familiar with the original source, it's best to read THE SOLITARY HOUSE without thinking much of Dickens (if you can help it). On its own this is a brilliantly  conceived and written mystery set mostly on the poor side of London town, not a place I would have cared to linger in reality. Believe me you will be caught up in Shepherd's grim tale. But if you're very familiar with BLEAK HOUSE, it will likely color your view of Shepherd's book one way or the other. On the whole, I think, it would be a positive view. Shepherd is a very fine writer.

Note: I loved her previous book which took characters from Jane Austen's MANSFIELD PARK and turned the classic story into a very delicious mystery, MURDER AT MANSFIELD PARK. Once you read this current book, you'll want to travel further back in English history to Regency times and give that one a whirl as well. Lynn Shepherd is one of the more daring writers out there.

To read this very talented author is to fall deep into the clutches of a different world - in THE SOLITARY HOUSE - it is the pitiless, foul and dank side of 1850 London, where the poor are left (literally) to sink or swim. Does the term 'baby farm' cause you to take a deep breath of revulsion? Yeah, me too. It was not a pleasant world.

This is the unsparing background in which we find Charles Maddox, once a police officer, now toiling as a sort of private detective (Victorian version). With the help of his legendary uncle Maddox, a brilliant 'thief taker' now sadly suffering from something very similar to Alzheimer's disease, Charles manages to scratch out a living.

When he is approached by Tulkington, a sinister well-to-do lawyer and keeper of secrets of the rich, on a fairly simple matter - tracing a sender of anonymous letters, Charles suspects something more is amiss, but he can't afford to turn down the case and doesn't.

The story is revealed from the point of view of three different characters and while I always say I don't like that sort of thing, I don't seem to mind it when it's well done. The characters 'borrowed' from Dickens' classic are: Lady Dedlock (what a great name), Mr. Tulkington a crooked lawyer, police Inspector Bucket who really comes to life in the second half of the book as we learn and are reminded that appearances can be so deceiving, and the rather simple Hester (Esther, I'm told, in the original) who narrates her own story with its own heartbreaking denouement which dovetails near the end with Charles' ever more dangerous investigation.

I know I've used this word before, but it fits, so I'll use it again; this is a byzantine plot which works in several story lines, one of a missing mother and child, and such vile secrets from the past and present and corruption so hard to fathom, so repulsive, that you will hardly believe your eyes. There are also the first preliminary killings (unrecorded as such) by the psychotic killer who will, in future be known as Jack the Ripper.

The revelations when they come will cause you to read the final chapters in dread. Minor quibble aside, this is a superb book, though not perhaps, for the very squeamish. Still and all, buck up and read the thing, you will be enthralled.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Forgotten (or Overlooked) Film Tuesday: THREE COINS IN THE FOUNTAIN starring Clifton Webb, Dorothy McGuire, Louis Jourdan, Maggie McNamara, Rossano Brazzi and Jean Peters

I don't know why I turned to this romantic old chestnut to write about today but it popped into my head this morning and wouldn't let go. I must be in a mood.

Anyway, don't forget to check in at Todd Mason's (our weekly host) blog, Sweet Freedom, to check out the reviews and links to other movie mavens who are blogging about Forgotten (or Overlooked) Films on this Tuesday. As I like to say, we are a very quirky bunch.

THREE COINS IN THE FOUNTAIN (1954) is a purely romantic American escape fantasy directed by Jean Negulesco, a talented guy who, more or less, specialized in these sorts of lushly presented movies. Shot on location in Rome - next to Paris, the center of the romantic universe - with some very talented and attractive actors, the film also gets a classic (if somewhat schlocky) song attached to it which never hurts. Even Clifton Webb, at his acerbic best, manages to look and behave quietly romantic in his own special way.

(I'm doing this post mostly from memory (with tiny prompts from IMdB and Wikipedia) since I haven't seen the movie in a while. But somehow I remember most of it most vividly. It's funny how the mind works sometimes.)

Maria Williams (the effervescent Maggie McNamara who always had an Audrey Hepburn vibe going on) arrives in Rome to work as a secretary at a large American government bureau. She is replacing Anita Hutchins (the voluptuously ripe on a vine, Jean Peters - can't help it, that's how I think of her) who is heading back home in the near future, disillusioned with the lack of romance in the Eternal City. She thinks she'll have better luck finding a husband in America since, apparently, wealthy Italian men just do not fall in love with secretaries.

The two women share a villa (!?) with a certain Miss Francis (the always intriguing Dorothy McGuire) who is the long-time secretary of ex-pat American author John Frederick Shadwell (Clifton Webb). She, in her own quiet way, has been in love with her slightly dyspeptic boss for years. I love Clifton Webb in this film and I kind of fell in love with him myself. Though in the end there is a bittersweet surprise to add to this particular mix, I would have done exactly as the resourceful and steadfast Miss Francis did.

Jean Peters, Maggie McNamara, Dorothy McGuire - three girls in Rome looking for some love

The three women become friends (the Dorothy McGuire character is supposed to be an older spinster type popular in the 1950's, a woman who appears to have given up on romance) and in keeping with the Italian custom, each throws a coin into the Trevi Fountain in Rome - this is supposed to assure that each will return to Rome when and if they leave.

Okay, so what about the romance part. Well, here goes:

You already know that the strait-laced Miss Francis (we know she is strait-laced since she is referred to as 'Miss') is in love with her boss, the famous writer. Though he, dense about real-life emotion, is clueless.

Well, Maria Williams (Maggie McNamara) manages to meet Prince Dino di Cressi (Louis Jourdan), a wealthy Italian playboy at a party, and almost instantly falls madly in love. But she is a cautious girl, not as wise to the ways of international playboys as she might be, but wise enough to know she should tread carefully lest she have her heart trampled on. Louis Jourdan is full of the carefully charming insouciance of his class and has no plans to fall in love, most especially not with a spunky American. But he makes a play for her anyway, it's expected.

Audrey Hutchins (Jean Peters) has caught the eye of poor but honest Giorgio Bianchi (Rossano Brazzi), a swarthy, dark-eyed, soulful type who works as a translator in her department. But office protocol forbids fraternization between Americans and Italians. (?!) I'm not a fan of Brazzi except for his stint in SOUTH PACIFIC which sort of worked for him. Brazzi had a disconcerting way of looking unhappy which only made me want to slap him, but that's probably just me.

 He also had a huge and very earthy screen presence, and not always in a good way. At any rate, he and Jean Peters on screen together look as if they're just about to hop into bed and burn the sheets to a crisp. All the while, he, looking wounded and unhappy, of course. And why is this bad? It's not, it's just a bit over-much.

Anyway, the third love story is that of Miss Francis and her boss, John Frederick Shadwell aka Clifton Webb, whom she has adored from afar while working at his side for fifteen years. He has no clue and she dares not reveal her womanly emotions - it's enough for her to appear as the perfect secretary and office help-mate. Until one delightful evening when she has one drink too many and we get another view of the stait-laced Miss Francis. Much to her boss's surprise and chagrin.

In the end, just when everything looks downright dismal and un-workable, in steps John Frederick Shadwell (with the coaching of Miss Francis), who knows everyone who's anyone in Rome, to set things to rights.

Just a schmaltzy, happily ever after (more or less) love story of the kind they don't (can't) make anymore. It's also one of those films that if you walk into a room and it's playing on some channel or other, you can't help stopping and watching.

The film won two Academy Awards: one for the ubiquitous song and one for the wonderful cinematography.

Watch the THREE COINS IN THE FOUNTAIN trailer here.

Listen to the song sung by The Four Aces, here.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Review: TAHOE TRAP (2012) by Todd Borg

Somehow, I'd never read any of the Owen McKenna series of books before the author, Todd Borg, sent me a copy for possible review. In fact, I'd never known anything about that area of the U.S. except that there is a lake named Tahoe, lots of expensive homes, a resort and gambling casino (I think). The problem with a lot of locally situated books is that most of us (not in the general area) never get to read them because the authors tend to get pigeon-holed as regional.

So I'm glad I had a chance to read this, the tenth in the series - I mean, where have I been?

A small boy witnesses a possible murder and is trapped in the bed of the killers' pick-up as it whisks away from the lonely, wooded crime scene. The boy is eight years old and an illegal immigrant, trapped not only under the topper of a truck fleeing through the night, but also outside the U.S. legal system and frightened out of his wits. His 'foster' mom, Cassie, presumably lies dead on a country road.

Owen McKenna, ex-cop, current private eye and Tahoe resident, gets a frantic wake-up call in the middle of the night. It is the boy, Paco Ipar, calling on a cell phone from his hiding place. McKenna and the boy have never met but the boy had been told by Cassie to call McKenna in case there was ever any trouble. Paco pleads with McKenna to come find him.

Out into the night goes McKenna, desperate to save a small boy.

What happens next is a constantly surprising series of events involving murder, kidnapping, two nasty hired killers from Vegas, the unsparing illegal immigrant laws in which children like Paco fall through the cracks (frustrating and heartbreaking, really), organic farming (in which we learn that tomatoes and other so-called vegetables with seeds are really fruits - who knew?) and Basque nationality. There is a dandy red herring which led me up the garden path - so to speak - and the final motivation of the killer comes as a major surprise. (I love when that happens.)

Along the way, we find out how to make fiendish use of stinging red ants and a concoction of pepper spray (from organic peppers, of course) hot enough to fell a couple of very bad men. Did I fail to mention that McKenna is a very clever fellow? We also find out some interesting tomato lore as the missing Cassie has managed to create a strain of tomato that ripens by itself while being shipped, needing no gas to do the job. Oh, you didn't know that the regular tomatoes you find in the supermarket are 'gassed' to make them ripen? I didn't either. Ugh.

Lots of interesting stuff going on in this fast-paced suspenseful mystery I am definitely recommending and you will want to read. In fact, I've added the rest of the books in this series to my TBR list for future getting acquainted.

Oh, and if all this hasn't peaked your interest yet, there's also a Harlequin Great Dane named Spot. McKenna's extremely large dog, along for the ride.

To learn about Todd Borg and see a full list of his Owen McKenna books, please use this link.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Saturday Salon: Thomas Cooper Gotch

The Exile


The Sand Bar

The Child Enthroned

The Lantern Parade

La Reine Clothilde 

They Come

The Child in the World

The Jest

Thomas Cooper Gotch (1854 - 1931) was born in Kettering, Northamptonshire. He was an English Pre-Raphaelite painter who, with his wife and daughter, settled in Newlyn, Cornwall forming the base of a soon bustling artists' colony. He was also a founding member of the New English Arts Club, whose members resisted the cultural domination of the Royal Academy of Art. The politics of art can be just as strenuous and fatiguing as the politics of government, unfortunately.

Gotch was very well-traveled and though he began as a 'realist' painter, it was the influence of the work of the Romantic European Symbolists, whose paintings he saw in Florence, Italy, which caused him to change his style of painting. His early efforts at 'symbolism' were not as successful as his later work though as he came more and more to concentrate on allergorical subject matter, focusing on young girls often in ornate costume, his paintings became very popular and garnered critical acclaim..

A successful career followed and though Gotch is not as well-known outside of England as he should be, thanks to the Internet I fell in love with his use of color and his romantic vision. Though perhaps there is something mysterious about these children - some of his girls look downright glum. Not a lot of happiness going on here. But I suppose that's part what makes the paintings so intriguing.

Thomas Cooper Gotch

To learn more about Gotch and view more of his work, please use this link and this one.
There is also a biography available, by Pamela Lomax.

All the visuals shown on this post have been culled from various Internet sources. I do not own the copyrights nor do I claim to. This post is purely for the purpose of entertainment and enlightenment.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Friday's Forgotten Book: SINGING IN THE SHROUDS(1958) by Ngaio Marsh

The theme for Friday is Forgotten Books, the weekly meme hosted by Patti Abbott at her blog, Pattinase. So don't forget to check in at Patti's to see what Forgotten (or Overlooked) Books other bloggers are talking about today. 

My entry is SINGING IN THE SHROUDS by Ngaio Marsh, one of her many enjoyable Inspector Roderick Allyn mysteries and one of my faves simply because it takes place on board an ocean liner. Mystery aboard a boat. What could be better? Well, mystery on a train, maybe. Or mystery in the library - but I think you know what I mean. 

Author of 32 mystery novels and considered a Grande Dame alongside her contemporary, Agatha Christie, Ngaio Marsh was born in New Zealand and made her mark in the theater as a long-time producer/director, before turning to writing mysteries.

I've read every Allyn mystery (mostly in one grand extravaganza a couple of years ago) and recommend most of them very highly. If you'll check out my 101 Favorite Mysteries list (link on my left side bar) you'll find some of the Marsh titles I especially loved.

SINGING IN THE SHROUDS is not the best written of Marsh's books, but that doesn't stop it being one of the most eerie and fun to read on a foggy night when you're in the mood. The search is on for a serial killer on the high seas. (Yes, even Ngaio Marsh wrote a book about a serial killer way back then.) To add to the macabre quality of his foul deeds, this fellow likes to sprinkle flowers and sing a little ditty over his victims. 

A body lies dead on the docks where the Cape Farewell, is set to sail at midnight. A clue clutched in a dead woman's hand leads Inspector Roderick Allyn to join the ship incognito as it sails for South Africa with nine passengers on board - one of whom is a killer. (Don't you love that sort of thing?)

Being a British mystery, of course everyone on board is an eccentric type of one variety or another - that's to be expected, in fact, that's what I love about these sorts of stories. I mean, it wouldn't be any fun if everyone involved were just boring and pedantic and normal.

No blood-letting or long-winded entries into the killer's thoughts to worry about here. This is, more or less, a cozy set on the high seas as Inspector Allyn must use every ounce of intelligence and detective expertise to catch a killer bound any moment to kill again.

Happy days are here again......!

artwork by Mary Royt

I'm back where I belong, slaving away at the computer. HA!

I never thought I'd miss the damn thing so much. It's kind of frightening really, just how much I've come to depend on this thing. How much I take it for granted.

Here's what happened: the old computer (five years old more or less) blew a fuse. First it began making a loud noise like the 'rushing' of the ocean - I kid you not. Then when I shut it down to reboot it refused to cooperate. My daughter deduced that the thing had given up its ghost. Fried to a crisp. 'Dust and dog hair,' she said. (I wouldn't be surprised.)

And since I don't back anything up, all my files were gone - zip. Disappeared into the ether.

But wait, my wonderful daughter knows someone who can retrieve the hard drive from the broken down old carcass, so all is not lost. In a few weeks I should have all my stuff back - hopefully.

So here we are, a few days later and I'm breaking in a new computer - thanks once again to my daughter. Totally different screen and totally different (in size) keyboard. That's the hard part, accommodating my hands to the different spaces.  Plus it's still feeling strange looking at the different screen and all. But I'll soon grow accustomed to its face.

So while I'm breaking in my new electronic companion, bear with me. I'm taking it slow and easy and making sure I don't alienate it before we become best buds.

Monday, August 20, 2012

I'm here but not really here!

Just a quick note to let everyone know I'm taking a short break due to some computer issues that need to be attended to ... but I'll be back!

In the meantime, enjoy a picture of my handsome Rocky to brighten your day! See you soon.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Saturday Salon on Sunday: Joaquin Sorolla (1863 - 1923)

Maria at La Gran

Return From Fishing 1894

Gray Day on Valencia Beach

On the Beach at Valencia

Waiting for Fishing


On San Sebastian Beach

The Horse's Bath

Children on the Beach

Sea Idyll

Promenade on the Beach

En La Yola

The Pink Robe


Raquel Meller

After Bathing

Joaquin Sorolla (1863 - 1923) was a gifted and prolific Spanish painter born in Valencia. He studied art education locally and then under a series of influential teachers. At eighteen he traveled to Madrid to study the master paintings at the Museo del Prado. Later, after military service, Sorolla obtained a grant to study painting in Rome at the Spanish Academy. 

A stay in Paris in 1885 exposed him to the influence of artists and paintings of the modern age. Sorolla continued study in Rome, then returned to Valencia where he married and began to raise a family - all the while painting huge canvases of Orientalist, mythological, historical and social themes. 

After many initial successes and recognition in his own country, an exhibit at the Paris Universal Exposition of 1900 won him a medal of honor and nomination as Knight of the Legion of Honor. Many other awards and honors followed.

He also traveled to America where he spent several months painting portraits and earning more success. J. Paul Getty purchased ten of Sorolla's beach scenes, some of which are in the Getty Museum.

For an artist this successful in his lifetime, it's amazing to me that I wasn't at all familiar with his work until very recently.

His canvases are on exhibition in many of the world's top museums and in 2007, Sorolla's work was exhibited alongside that of John Singer Sargent, another artist (much better known) of that age who created his own niche and recognizable style. Just this year, a few of Sorolla's paintings were on exhibit at the Queen Sofia Spanish Institute in New York.

"By reason of his native genius and stubborn will-power he became what he is - the painter of vibrating sunshine without equal. Let there be no mincing of comparisons in this assertion. Not Turner, not Monet, painted so directly blinding shafts of sunlight as has this Spaniard." 

(James Gibbons Huneker, quoted in Peel, Edmund: The Painter Joaquin Sorolla, Philip Wilson Publishers, Ltd. 1989)

Joaquin Sorolla y Batisda - Photo: Gertrude Kasebier

To view more of Sorolla's work, please use this link and/or this one.

Disclaimer: I've culled the items in this post from various online sites. I make no claim on copyright nor do I intend making any profit from the showing of these paintings.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Foreign Film Poster Thursday

The smart Danish poster for DARK PASSAGE starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Forgotten (or Overlooked) Film Tuesday: DARK PASSAGE(1947) starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall

It's Forgotten (or Overlooked) Film Tuesday once again, a weekly meme hosted by Todd Mason at his blog, Sweet Freedom. Don't forget to check in and check out the links.

DARK PASSAGE (1947), directed by Delmer Daves and based on a novel by David Goodis, is a Humphrey Bogart film seldom shown anywhere. It's my favorite pairing of Bogart and Bacall. (Their third film together) There was less posing by Bacall and the love story worked for me. I'm not a 'put your lips together and blow' fan. (I know I'm in the minority but it made me uneasy that Bacall was so damn young in those movies.)

The improbable plot:

Vincent Parry (Humphrey Bogart) is an innocent man convicted of murdering his wife. He escapes from prison and gains the sympathy of artist Irene Jansen (Lauren Bacall).

Where would thrillers be without a beautiful woman to pick up the pieces and help the hero hide out?

She conveniently knows one of the persons involved in Bogart's conviction, the viperish Madge (Agnes Moorehead), a woman once spurned by Parry. It's hard to imagine the two of them together (Bogart and Moorehead) under any circumstances, but hey, this is the movies and the script says he did spurn her.

The first third of the film is shot (as was THE LADY IN THE LAKE with Robert Montgomery, coincidentally in the same year) mostly (though not entirely) from Vincent Parry's point of view - through his eyes. His face is never seen.

Parry meets a friendly cab driver named Sam who recognizes him as the escaped convict, but decides to help. Conveniently, Sam knows of a plastic surgeon who won't ask too many questions.

Houseley Stevenson and Tom D'Andrea (Doctor and Cabby)

Once Parry gets the surgery, he arranges to recuperate at his friend George's apartment. Bogart spends part of the film wrapped in bandages - an atmospheric touch.

No matter what, a man's gotta' have his smokes.

Unfortunately, when George is murdered, Parry is once again suspected of the dirty deed - his fingerprints are found on the murder weapon (a trumpet ?!).

The man cannot catch a break. But at least he has a beautiful, sultry woman to look after him.

Lots of smoking going on this film. In more ways than one.

Another couple of deaths follow before Vincent Parry (correctly) decides he is not going to be able to prove he  didn't kill anyone. (You think?) I mean, the grim shadow of death follows this guy wherever he goes.

But not to worry.

I especially like the pragmatic yet romantic ending of the film in which Parry and Irene meet up in South America.  Where else is a guy on the lam gonna' go?