I Wouldn't Be in Your Shoes (1948)

Genres - Crime, Mystery  |   Sub-Genres - Detective Film  |   Run Time - 70 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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A lesser film noir and quite obviously made on a budget, I Wouldn't Be In Your Shoes should nevertheless provide entertainment for noir fans looking for something that's not very well known. Shoes is based on a Cornell Woolrich book, which means that it's quite intricately plotted and is drenched in paranoia. When a typical Woolrich story is paired with a director that has a keen understanding of the underpinnings of the story and knows how to bring out the cinematic life in it, as in Alfred Hitchcock and Rear Window, the results can be outstanding. Director William Nigh, however, is no Hitchcock; his work is professional and relatively effective (if a bit sluggish), but the material requires more. The obsessiveness that is part and parcel of Woolrich has to be in the blood of the filmmaker, allowing the director to either go with it or fight against it, either of which can create beautiful results. Nigh doesn't have that connection, and so the viewer is made alarmingly aware of how farfetched much of the plot is and of the manipulative mechanics behind it. Of course, those who enjoy unraveling a murder will not particularly care about this. A pair of high powered stars in the leading roles would have made a major difference, but Don Castle and Elyse Knox are correct and nothing more; they don't do anything wrong but they don't light up the screen either. Much better is Regis Toomey, who turns in a slam-dunk performance that helps to carry the film.