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The only true film noir ever directed by a woman, this tour-de-force thriller (considered by many, including Lupino herself, to be her best film) is a classic, tension-packed, three-way dance of death about two middle-class American homebodies (Edmond O'Brien and Frank Lovejoy) on vacation in Mexico on a long-awaited fishing trip. Suddenly their car and their very lives are commandeered by psychopathic serial killer Emmett Myers (William Talman).
The striking light/dark contrasts, the stunning compositions (such as the two kidnap victims separated by a narrow stream from a gun-cradling madman with a lazy eye) and the spatial integrity of a determining sense of locale (the pitiless topography of a rockbound, horizonless Mexico over which hovers an ever-present doom) all contribute mightily to this fascinating character study.
National Film Registry 1998
"What is at stake in Lupino's films is the psyche of the victim." - Martin Scorsese