Crossroads (1942)

Genres - Drama, Mystery  |   Release Date - Jul 23, 1942 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 82 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Although Crossroads ends up as only a middling thriller, it's worth a look from fans of lesser-known films in the Hitchcock-ian vein. Crossroads has a humdinger of a plot, one that is fascinatingly convoluted and keeps viewers constantly guessing as to the innocence of guilt of the lead character. Unfortunately, much of the plotting turns on some rather incredible points. With the proper handling, incredible plot points can be turned to an advantage, but screenwriter Guy Troper fudges this crucial element. His writing is too blatant and obvious, lacking the finesse and delicacy needed to smooth over the rough point. In addition, his dialogue is just a little too bland. Jack Conway's direction, while it gets things done, doesn't compensate for the flaws in the writing. Fortunately, Crossroads has a stellar cast to get the viewer over the rough spots. Although somewhat unbelievable as a French diplomat, William Powell is otherwise spot-on as the lead, keeping audience sympathy throughout. Hedy Lamarr is stunning to look at, and actually delivers a performance that is somewhat good. Claire Trevor is a delight as the female fly in the ointment, but it's Basil Rathbone who really steals the show as the scheming and duplicitous Sarrow.