Ride the Pink Horse (1947)

Genres - Crime  |   Sub-Genres - Film Noir, Crime Thriller  |   Run Time - 101 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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The oddly titled Ride the Pink Horse is one of the odder, but more intriguing, entries in the film noirs of the 1940s. The screenplay is overly convoluted and will lose some viewers, but its intricacy seems to derive from some greater purpose than to just keep the audience on its toes; it unsettles viewers even as it challenges them. Director Robert Montgomery and scenarists Ben Hecht, Charles Lederer, and Joan Harrison are creating a psychological mood piece, murky at times, but intentionally so. The journey that the leading character is on is alien to him and feels so to the viewer, but ultimately it is one of redemption. Montgomery's direction is especially fine, taut but evocative. His performance is not quite up to his direction; he's more than adequate, but not as much at home in the role as Humphrey Bogart would have been, and so one too often sees the actor rather than the character making choices. Still, it's strong enough to hold things together, and he gets excellent support from Wanda Hendrix, Andrea King, and Thomas Gomez, among others. Horse has its flaws, but it's a powerful, provocative film that rewards repeated viewings.