John H. Auer certainly knew how to shoot a movie: "Hell's Half Acre" and "City That Never Sleeps" are two of the most atmospheric and visually compelling noir thrillers ever made. He had a great eye for location, and knew how to get talent in front of the camera, but (like City) Hells Half Acre is a ludacris plot that not even the talented cast (Wendel Corey, Keye Luke -- yes, Grasshopper, Keye Luke) can save.
Outstanding features: lighting, atmosphere and cast, including a bunch of Asian-Americans who for once aren't playing the cook. It's set in Hawai, has some amazing location material, and some excellent chase sequences, and beautifully photographed.
Less than… Read more