Man in the Dark

1953

Crime / Drama / Film-Noir / Thriller

4
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Rotten 18%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 18%
IMDb Rating 6.2/10 10 798 798

Director

Top cast

Edmond O'Brien as Steve Rawley
Audrey Totter as Peg Benedict
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
619.85 MB
1280*960
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 7 min
Seeds 8
1.12 GB
1440*1080
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 7 min
Seeds 14

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by mk4 7 / 10

Best footage of long lost Ocean Park "High Boy" coaster.

Growing up in L.A. always meant a fun trip to Pacific Ocean Park near Venice and riding the "Sea Serpent" roller coaster--and taking a whirl on the "Laff In The Dark" dark ride (while getting creeped-out by the caged "Laffing Sal" in her polka dotted dress who cackled at you from behind bars). "Man In The Dark" takes us back to 1953, and a pre-POP era, when amusement parks were generally seedy and frightening, especially Ocean Park as it was known then (POP came about after Disneyland was built in 1955, and gussied-up by CBS who had purchased it and turned it into a family-oriented theme park-by-the-sea). The "Sea Serpent"--which was "modified for family riding" by CBS in 1957-58 for the new POP, was originally known as the "High Boy"... a John Miller out-and-back masterpiece built circa 1927. This ride was a true thriller...and can be seen to full advantage in this rarely screened noir drama. Laffing Sal was there too, perched above a fun house back then, and she steals the show in many scenes shot to take full advantage of the 3-D process. Since I had experienced both parks back in the '50's through its last season in 1968 before it was torn down, I really wanted to see this movie. I wasn't disappointed. Although not up to the standards of "D.O.A." by a longshot, the movie holds one's interest from the get-go, further capturing the sleeziness old L.A. of the '50's as a place you didn't want to go to if you were trying to stay out of trouble...or if you were on the lam. Edmond O'Brien holds is own, but the other characters do seem a trifle cartoonish to be truly believable. Audrey Totter comes off a little too harsh (even for her) to be considered an attractive prize. The interior shots come off as being filmed a little too flat, but once the film goes on location to the run-down areas around Ocean Park (a real slum at the time), and the park itself, the noir experience kicks-in...Big Time! You can't really call this film a "B-Noir Classic" because its almost impossible to find today...not in the league of "Gun Crazy" (shot at Ocean Park too!) or "D.O.A" or a host of others... but Google it...and you'll find it! Then judge it for yourself.

Reviewed by JohnSeal 5 / 10

Interesting 3D oddity

I watched most of Man in the Dark without realising it was originally shot in 3D. At first I thought I was watching a lost Fritz Lang classic---extreme closeups, odd points of view, shattering glass---until I remembered the film had been directed by, ahem, Lew Landers. Now nothing against old Lew, he delivered many a fine B picture, but Man in the Dark doesn't look like your typical Columbia programmer. It's black and white take on the 3D process is more noir than you'd expect and it obviously helped to have Floyd Crosby behind the camera. Edmond O'Brien and Audrey Totter are good as always, overcoming a pretty hackneyed script that is the film's major shortcoming. Worth seeing for the dream sequence alone, where O'Brien is pursued by policemen in bumper cars!!

Reviewed by bmacv 6 / 10

Noirish 3-D thriller still has a little bit of fizz left in it

Edmond O'Brien has a severe case of retrograde amnesia, but he didn't contract it in the Pacific. He's a robber who got away with $130,000 in a Christmas Eve heist, was convicted and served his time. But he'll get a second chance if he submits to an operation to excise the criminal portion of his brain. Understandably, he's conflicted, and when they move it up from the scheduled day he balks: `I was born on a Monday. I may as well go on one – like dirty laundry.' But the operation proves a stunning success, so delicate that it erases all memories of his past life but leaves him with a perfect command of American slang.

But the placid life he leads at the sanitarium – pruning hedges and daubing canvases – comes to an abrupt halt when he's kidnaped by his old gang, now led by Ted De Corsia. They want the money, which was never recovered; so does an implacable Javert of an insurance investigator. Even his old girlfriend (Audrey Totter) sees him only as a ticket to the high life, until she falls for the new, improved O'Brien and renounces her grasping ways. (The often ill-used Totter shines here, especially on a martini bender when she asks the bartender, `Oh, Fred, what do you do when you hate yourself?')

Odd clues begin to surface from O'Brien's troubled nightmares, however, leading him and Totter (with the rest of the cast plus the police in pursuit) to claim a parcel left at an amusement park. And this is the big set-piece of the movie, originally released in 3-D. Cars come whooshing around the curves and down the dips of a roller coaster while pitched battles are being fought on the tracks. Watching these 3-D movies now is like drinking soda that's gone flat: All the ingredients are there but the sparkle's gone. But in their endearingly gimmicky way, they evoke their era, as do the flats equipped with party lines and furnished with lampshades bearing reproductions of paintings. Man in the Dark's too short, and needs an extra layer of complexity. But there's still a bit of fizz left in it.

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