Hmm. Wonder if this one’s noir.

 

Yes, I believe so. The premise is simple: a couple is driving down a road at night - well, at day-for-night - and someone tosses a bag full of money into their back seat. It’s the opportunity of a lifetime, says the wife:

 

 

That’s Lizabeth Scott, a noir actress whose appeal has always eluded me. She could photograph well -

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but there’s always something mannered in her performance. She was often compared to Bacall or Lake, at least by the studio - but I don’t see it. She’s good here, though; the moment the bag shows up, life changes completely; it only takes three minutes before the wife is ready to plug a cop who pulls them over for speeding.

What could go wrong?

For starters, a cop starts nosing around. You’re in bad bad country when this is the cop:

 

 

Turns out he's not really a cop. Worse: he's Dan Duryea. That means he’s going to slap around a woman, right? That’s what he always does. He always slaps the dame. It was his trademark. They put it in the trailers. They put it on the ads. Well, that act was getting old by the time they did this one in '49. He’s now the sort of guy who’ll freeze a dame with some cold steely stares: (flash video; mouse over for controls if not immediately obvious)

 

 

Apparently not.

It’s not a bad movie; Scott is cold, Duryea just snaky-bad cruel. It’s an acceptable entry in a genre of movies that didn’t exist before the computer: things you can half-watch while you’re doing something else.

 

BTW: wikipedia sums up Scott's “controversial” life thus:

" . . . in 1955, she sued Confidential magazine for stating that she spent her off-work hours with "Hollywood's weird society of baritone babes" (a euphemism for lesbian) in an article which claimed Scott's name was found on the clients' list belonging to a call-girl agency.[2] The suit was thrown out on a technicality, but Scott chose to end her career in the spotlight."

Today an actress would have said it before Confidential, and had her publicist threaten to sue Confidential if the mag said she was just pretending for the PR.

BTW pt. 2 You think I’m kidding about putting dame-slapping in the ads? Although here it looks like he's slapping Pee-Wee Herman.