“It’s crazy how you can get yourself in a mess sometimes and not even be able to think about it with any sense — and yet not be able to think about anything else.”
A down-and-out boxer (Jamie Smith) reflects on his affair with a dance hall girl (Irene Kane) whose gangster-boss (Frank Silvera) isn’t happy with her decision to leave him.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Flashback Films
- Stanley Kubrick Films
- Star-Crossed Lovers
Response to Peary’s Review:
In his brief review (which, in a pre-IMDb era, gets the names of the romantic lead actors wrong — whoops!), Peary writes that “Stanley Kubrick’s second feature exhibits flare rather than style, promise rather than skill”. He calls out the “weak story” and notes that the “acting is terrible” — but he concedes that “within this low-budget context Kubrick impresses with dashes of surrealism, strong use of New York locales (when pizza was 10¢), and a wild, medieval fight in a loft full of mannequins.” Along with most other reviewers, I’m pretty much in agreement with Peary’s assessment — though I would argue that the film actually shows plenty of skill and style, and I’m not sure “surrealism” is how I would describe its at-times quirky sensibility. It’s primarily the hackneyed storyline and dialogue that fail us; visually, this one is a consistent stunner.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Powerful cinematography and direction
- Fine on-location shooting
No, though of course all Kubrick aficionados will want to check it out.