A fairly neglected exercise in film noir, The Dark Corner is a more than adequate if less than topflight example of the genre. Director Henry Hathaway was already familiar with crime thrillers, having helmed such previous efforts as Johnny Apollo and The House on 92nd Street, and he competently makes the shift to the edgier, more fatalist film noir game with ease and assurance, if little in the way of virtuosity. The screenplay is solid, hitting all the right plot points and keeping its cards appropriately close to the vest until it's time to spring a few surprises on the audience, and there's a good swift line of hardboiled dialogue hiding behind every corner. If Mark Stevens is not an immortal in the pantheon of screen tough guys -- his Galt is a little wan, a trifle lightweight -- he's more than credible and makes the character's tightlipped stoicism appealing. Lucille Ball assays one of her rare non-comedic roles and comes off very well; there's a welcome mixture of innocence and worldliness to her character that she manages to get across without getting mired down in either extreme. Clifton Webb is deliciously smarmy, a nasty piece of work that's a joy to watch. Corner misses out on being one of the majors, but as minor leaguers go, it's one of the best.
by Craig Butler review