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The Dark Corner (Fox Film Noir)

Lucille Ball , Clifton Webb , Henry Hathaway    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
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Lucille Ball has a change of pace role as the loyal secretary of a private eye in this brooding film noir about a man being set up for a murder rap. Framed by his partner years ago, hard-boiled detective Bradford Galt (Mark Stevens) served a two year stretch for manslaughter. Now trying to start over, he spends his time serving his clients and romancing his new secretary, Kathleen (Lucille Ball). But everything changes with the appearance of a sinister man in a whit suit (William Bendix) who's apparently working for Galt's ex-partner, Tony Jardine. When Jardine is killed, the police blame Galt. It's another frame, but if Galt can't prove he's innocent, this time he's headed for death row.


The Dark Corner can't seriously be proposed as a great film noir, but it's one that people cherish. For one thing, it's unique in having Lucille Ball--who has absolutely no "splainin'" to do--as the smart, resourceful, devoted secretary of beleaguered private eye Mark Stevens. Lucy actually rates top billing, with Clifton up-to-his-old-Laura-tricks Webb and William vicious-brute-in-a-white-suit Bendix also getting their names above that of the hero in the credits. In this, there's a certain justice; they all deliver the goods, whereas Stevens seems a tad lightweight as the hardnose, Phil Marlowe type cracking wise and punching his way through the mean streets. His character comes burdened with more backstory than usual for movie detectives; this time, the case the private eye has to solve is his own. The intriguingly convoluted screenplay (by Jay Dratler, who co-wrote Laura, and Bernard Schoenfeld, from a story by Leo Rosten) takes hold like a vise and sustains the tension even though, by rights, its credibility should be shrinking with each passing reel. Henry Hathaway's direction is crisp, and the cinematography by Joe MacDonald (who would next shoot John Ford's My Darling Clementine) is both pungent and gorgeous. With Cathy Downs, Kurt Kreuger, and Reed Hadley, who plays a police detective here but more often supplied the voiceover on Fox's semidocumentary thrillers and Anthony Mann's T-Men. --Richard T. Jameson

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best dramatic performance by Lucy April 26 2001
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
This is a really good film with a young and beautiful Lucille Ball giving, probably, her best dramatic performance. For those of you who only know Lucy from TV this movie will come as a big surprise. It is taut and gripping and a fine example of film noir, with an excellent supporting performance by Clifton Webb. I highly recommend this film.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars LUCILLE BALL IN A FILM NOIR! Jan. 18 2000
Format:VHS Tape
A gripping, intricate film noir about a detective, already framed once, who may go up the river yet again-this time for the murder of his ex-partner, the guy who framed him for the first time. Loyal secretary Ball helps to extricate him from this tangled web. Director Henry Hathaway made THE DARK CORNER in conventional Hollywood fashion, an excellent thriller about a private eye (Stevens) confronting the New York art world as represented by Clifton Webb and his thuggish aide, William Bendix. Resemblances may be found to the amiguities of LAURA, and under the title we noted the presence of STREET SCENE, an orchestral piece to be repeated in the other Fox thrillers of the period.
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4.0 out of 5 stars My first Film noir! Jan. 3 2001
Format:VHS Tape
This is the first film noir movie I ever watched and it hooked me on to the genre. It is a superb movie with it's assortment of characters that often populate the film noir genre. Lucille Ball was excellent as the trusting secretary! Another movie to see of Miss Ball's that displays her acting ability is the Big Street with Henry Fonda. Mark Stevens was an actor I had not heard of before. He was suprisingly very good in his role of Brad. Many people think this is the only film-noir done by William Bendix. It is not. He is also in The Big Steal with Robert Mitchum. Clifton Webb is always delightful and his presence in this movie makes you compare this and his other noir classic Laura. He plays the same kind of character - obbessed with a much younger woman when he himself is an aging prudish man. The plot itself is good with some good dialouge and all the actors are in top form! I am sixteen years old and am a BIG classic movie fan and really enjoyed this movie. I reccomend it to any age group.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Dark One For Lucy Feb. 10 2000
Format:VHS Tape
This often over-looked film noir is a near classic and although it dosn't quite make it to greatness, it does hold up very well against many other better known films in this fasinating genre.
The story centers around a down and out gumshoe (Mark Stevens) who after serving time for a crime that he had been framed for, finds himself being setup for murder by someone who seems bent on destroying his life. Along the way he is stalked by the menacing "White Suit" (William Bendix) and helped by his true blue secretary (Lucille Ball) who is the only one who believes his innocence.
Mark Stevens is excellent as the put-up-on detective who can't understand what is happening to him, and Lucille Ball is very much at home in her role as the love interest.
The "The Dark Corner" is by far one Lucille Ball's best films, it along with "Lured" are a rare look at the mostly untapped dramatic acting ability of an actress who sadly was over-looked as a major film star during Hollywood's golden age.
The production values in this movie are very good the sets, dialog, and lighting are all top-notch although I found the music a little heavy handed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This is a terrific movie. Aug. 3 1999
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
The Dark Corner is among the best of the murder mysteries produced by Hollywood. It's little known except in "Noir" circles. The rest of the movie "buffs" don't know what they're missing. It is "Noir". It's also well cast, well paced, full of surprises. It's also a good production; the sets are rich & lush, or dingy or spare or gritty as appropriate. Great dialogue. Then there's the music... this is a real treat. It's woven through the story; not just supporting music but also wafting in and out of windows as a part of the tapestry of the city setting. This is a movie of terrific texture. Don't miss it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Dark Corner --- We loved it March 24 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Discovered this rarely aired movie about 20 years ago, and have only managed to catch it on TV once or twice since, since finding it on your site, we can know watch it when we want to, already ran it twice since its arrival, many thanks to you and your team for finding and offering these not so well known titles to us oldies, we really appreciate your efforts, I would recommend this movie to anyone wanting to see a well made movie with a good plot and ending,

Susan Button
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great detective film noir Aug. 25 2000
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
I've seen this classic a dozen times now and I won't say I never tire of it at times, but this is a great example of 40's film noir. Who would have thought that an unknown like Mark Stevens, paired with LUCY, of all people, would turn out a thrilling drama like this! William Bendix plays the perfect heavy, and Clifton Webb is here too! Don't miss this one.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Film May 12 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I first saw this years ago on The Women's Television Network, every Sunday afternoon they used to air excellent old movies that starred incredible leading ladies, I think they called it Leading Ladies. Anyway, this is a great movies starring Lucille Ball as a PI's secretary and she ends up helping him prove he's not guilty of murder and, of course, falling for him.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this one a very different role for Lucille Ball ...
Love this one a very different role for Lucille Ball she is really very good. And what a plot!
Published 15 days ago by diana smith
5.0 out of 5 stars A Dramatic Lucille Ball , not being funny , amounst a Cavalcade of...
Well before Lucy was stereotyped as a Comedienne of extraordinary depth , she was an actress first. Here she is in a
dramatic role as the secretary/angel of a tough guy... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Big Bill
5.0 out of 5 stars Good detective movie
Bought this movie on speculation as I had never seen Lucile Ball in a sensible role. Excellent story and always good to see Clifton Webb and William Bendix.
Published 11 months ago by Fred Isenor
3.0 out of 5 stars Dark Corner
I enjoyed the twists and turns of the plot.
A "real sleuth" might have solved it earlier than I did. Read more
Published 16 months ago by George Dohn
4.0 out of 5 stars great movie one of lucie's best
In the play "A Provincial Lady" the great writer Turgenev writes "..living alone in my dark little corner..awakened
so many memories..surprises".. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Anthony Marinelli
4.0 out of 5 stars "The Dark Corner (1946) ... Lucille Ball ... Henry Hathaway (Director)...
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation presents "THE DARK CORNER" (9 April 1946) (99 min/B&W) (Fully Restored/Dolby Digitally Remastered) -- Lucille Ball plays the secretary to... Read more
Published on Jan. 16 2011 by J. Lovins
2.0 out of 5 stars Young Lucy Deserved Better than This Movie!
According to Lucille Ball's autobiography, "Love, Lucy," Lucy had a mild nervous breakdown during the filming of this movie, due to outside personal problems. Read more
Published on Feb. 6 2001
4.0 out of 5 stars Dark Corner...Good Show.
William Bendix plays "White Suit" Reed Hadley the cop and Clifton Webb is terrific again as a heavy " Cathcart"
Lucy was always alluring and by now a... Read more
Published on May 14 2000 by charles pope
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