I Walk Alone (1948)

Genres - Crime  |   Sub-Genres - Crime Drama, Film Noir, Gangster Film  |   Release Date - Jan 16, 1948 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 98 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Craig Butler

I Walk Alone is not top-notch film noir, but there are enough positives to the film to more than offset its negatives. The biggest problem is, of course, the screenplay. While it has some interesting turns (such as one gangster cheating the other by simple bookkeeping fraud), it sometimes strains credulity (would Madison really believe Turner would do right by him?). The plotting is busy, but not as inventive as necessary and, worse, the dialogue -- an immensely important ingredient in a successful noir stew -- disappoints. Fortunately, Walk has two dependably muscular performances from its male stars, with Kirk Douglas' icy sophistication playing delightfully off of Burt Lancaster's earthy integrity. Even better is Lizabeth Scott, adding a believable note of warmth and sensuality, andWendell Corey, whose cowardly brother walks away with several scenes. Byron Haskin's direction is occasionally at odds with the material; he's trying to add heft and dimension to it, and if he only half succeeds, at least he's trying something different. Better is Leo Tovar's cinematography, with stark, high-contrast lighting effects and a variety of dramatic angles used to good effect.