The Crooked Way (1949)
Preservation funding provided by The George Lucas Family Foundation.
Eddie Rice (John Payne), a decorated World War II veteran suffering from amnesia, returns to Los Angeles to find his true identity. Unfortunately, Eddie soon discovers that his past was not of the rose covered cottage variety. His real name is Eddie Riccardi and, as a former gangster, he made many enemies, including his ex-wife Nina Martin (Ellen Drew) and mobster Vince Alexander (Sonny Tufts). Distinguishing it from other contemporary films whose heroes are returning soldiers with memory loss (The Clay Pigeon, Somewhere in the Night), The Crooked Way is brought to life with some of the most dazzling noir cinematography by Hungarian-born émigré John Alton (T-Men, Border Incident). Combined with Robert Florey's dramatic mise-en-scène and the baroque art direction of Van Nest Polglase (Stranger on the Third Floor, Citizen Kane, All That Money Can Buy), the result is a visually stunning masterpiece.