Dead Reckoning by T.M.P.

Dead Reckoning by T.M.P.

23 janvier 1947. Les critiques promettent au passant cinéphile de se faire un nœud au cerveau devant le Dead Reckoning de John Cromwell avec Humphrey Bogart et Lizabeth Scott. Ca ne sera jamais plus terrible que la terrible gueule de bois d’après fête qu’il se traîne depuis un mois. C’est qu’il n’est plus tout jeune notre cinéphile.

Critique d’époque :

« There are a lot of things about the script of Dead Reckoning that an attentive spectator might find disconcerting, but the cumulative effect of the new Humphrey Bogart slug ’em-love ’em and leave ’em picture at Loew’s Criterion is all on the good side of entertainment. Old « Bogey » takes the drubbing of his cinematic life from a tough, psychopathic character who delights in « messing up » his victims to the strains of sweet music, but the revenge our hero ultimately enjoys is a dilly and, correct us if we’re wrong, sets something of a new high in savage melodramatics.

Five writing gents laid out the plot of this rambling, intricate chase whodunit. If their ingenuity at creating story situations falters now and again and if some of the things they call on Mr. Bogart to do are just this side of sound reasoning, let it be noted that they have provided the star with some of the best all-around dialogue he has had in a long time. And he gets off a mean mouthful in this picture, having long stretches to fill in developments as an off-screen voice.

Coming home as a paratrooper captain, Rip Murdock becomes an unwitting detective when his sergeant buddy, who is to receive the Congressional Medal, leaps off the train at Philadelphia and disappears. To keep this synopsis intentionally vague, let’s just say Murdock finds out a few things about his buddy which lead him into the arms of a sultry blonde and more trouble than he had bargained for with a group of tough mugs.John Cromwell, who as a rule devotes his directorial talents to more sedate and imposing subjects, keeps the story flowing smoothly and except for one dullish stretch while Murdock and his blonde interest are killing an afternoon, the suspense is skillfully drawn out. Mr. Bogart is, of course, beyond criticism in a role such as Dead Reckoning affords him. The same, unfortunately, may not be said about Lizabeth Scott, whose face is expressionless and whose movements are awkward and deliberate. Morris Carnovsky gives a polished performance as a bigtime mobster with no stomach for physical violence and Marvin Miller is all venom and a yard brutish as his henchman.

For those with a taste for rough stuff Dead Reckoning is almost certain to satisfy. All others are hereby cautioned to proceed at their own risk« . Par T.M.P. pour le New York Times.

Malgré un scénario confus, T.M.P. trouve Dead Reckoning plaisant à regarder. Si Humphrey Bogart semble être à a hauteur de sa réputation, il en est tout autrement pour l’inexpressive Lizabeth Scott qui se fait descendre en flamme par notre critique du jour.


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2 réflexions sur « Dead Reckoning by T.M.P. »

  1. Michael Minor from the group Noir Films Pre-Noir to Classic : « I was surprised by Lizabeth Scott overall, when I finally saw some of her movies. Boyish looking, flat acting, no expression ».

  2. Gordon Cummings from the group Classic Film Noir (1940-1958) : « The life that character has lived would be emotionally deadening, which would make a person expressionless ».

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