Review by Michael Jacobson
Humphrey Bogart, Lizabeth Scott, Morris Carnovsky
Director: John Cromwell
Audio: Dolby Digital Mono
Video: Full Frame 1.33:1
Studio: Columbia Tri Star
Features: Bonus Trailers, Vintage Advertising, Bogart Collection Preview
Length: 105 Minutes
Release Date: January 14, 2003
was nice of you, helping her get even.”
ALWAYS get even, Lieutenant.”
about your classic Humphrey Bogart moment:
there’s a scene in Dead Reckoning where he’s dancing around
Lizabeth Scott, while she’s begging him for information about her lover.
He’s seen him, he tells her. Where,
she asks? “On a slab at the morgue,” he replies. “Burnt to a crisp.”
She collapses in his arms while he continues to dance her around.
not get mentioned in the same breath as other Bogart classics of noir like The
Maltese Falcon or The Big Sleep, but for my money, even though it may
lack some of the style and grace of those films, it’s just as entertaining.
It featured the kind of character Bogie had become very comfortable
playing over the years, and he was in top form.
plays Rip Murdock, an army sergeant and paratrooper returning home from the war
with his buddy Johnny. But when
Johnny learns he’s to be given the Medal of Honor and that the press are
waiting for their train to come into station, he panics and flees.
Turns out, Johnny’s more than just camera shy, and Rip begins to
unravel the mystery of Johnny’s true existence.
leads him to a woman (of course!), the striking Coral Chandler (Scott), a
sometime nightclub singer whom Johnny used to talk about.
But Rip’s tailing of Johnny leads to a dead end…literally, as his old
friend turns up charcoal.
Johnny indeed a fugitive from the law who escaped into the army to avoid being
caught for the murder of Coral’s former husband? Or does the menacing mobster Martinelli (Carnovsky), who
seems to be trying to keep Johnny’s last message from reaching Rip, have
something to do with it?
is a well-paced and well-acted mystery…as mentioned, it doesn’t have the
same sense of style as other Bogart classics, but you’ll never be bored
watching it. Clues drop quickly and
situations change drastically, as Rip’s simple desire to clear his buddy’s
name gets him in over his head with Martinelli and over his heart with Chandler.
Lisabath Scott is not quite Lauren Bacall, but I’ll be damned if I
could take my eyes off of her.
as a strong transitional film between the early Bogie of film noir and Casablanca
and the excellent work still to come in The African Queen and The
Caine Mutiny. Best of all,
it’s just a terrifically charged piece of entertainment.
print shows it’s age a bit in this presentation…not necessarily a big strike
for a 50 plus year old film, but worth mentioning. Though the black and white imagery comes across with few
difficulties, the specks, spots and scratches call for a bit of clean up.
is a perfectly serviceable mono soundtrack…nothing more or less, and as good
as can be reasonably expected for such an old picture. Noise levels are minimal, and dialogue is always clearly
understood. Musical cues are
somewhat few and far between, but a sudden gunshot is always good for adding a
little dynamic tension to the mix!
disc contains trailers for The Caine Mutiny, Bridge on the River Kwai and
Lawrence of Arabia plus a short look at Bogie’s Columbia years, and a
vintage advertising gallery from the same.