Saturday, January 15, 2011

Film Noir: Conflict (1945).

Conflict (1945). Film noir directed by Curtis Bernhardt, produced by William Jacobs with Jack L. Warner as executive producer from a screenplay by Arthur T. Horman and Dwight Taylor, based on the story, The Pentacle by Alfred Neumann and Robert Siodmak. Cast: Humphrey Bogart, Alexis Smith and Sydney Greenstreet. The film is the only one which Bogart and Greenstreet co-starred and Bogart, not Greenstreet, was the villain.

On Richard and Kathryn Mason's, fifth wedding anniversary, Kathryn accuses Richard of having fallen in love with her younger sister, Evelyn Turner, which he does not deny. At a party celebrating the couple's anniversary hosted by family friend and psychologist Dr. Mark Hamilton, Evelyn meets with Mark's colleague, Professor Norman Holdsworth.

On the way home, Kathryn suggests to Evelyn to go back home to pay a visit to their mother. Evelyn agrees. Distracted by watching Evelyn in the rear view mirror, Richard crashes their car and suffers a broken leg. He then decides to come up with a plan to kill his wife.

Richard pretends that he needs a wheelchair, even after his leg has healed. His physician, Doctor Grant, says the problem is psychological. He then suggests that he start swimming to strengthen his leg, so a car trip to a mountain resort lake is planned. At the last minute, Richard has to stay home to do some work, he suggest that Kathryn go on ahead by herself and he will meet her later. On the drive up the mountain she comes across a car that is blocking the narrow deserted road. Richard walks out of the fog and kills her. Afterward, he pushes her car down a steep slope. He returns home in time to set up an alibi and file a missing person report..

Odd things begin to happen that make him believe she still maybe alive. He smells her perfume, finds her jewelry, sees an envelope addressed with her handwriting. He must go back to the scene of the crime, where he finds someone waiting for him, but who?

Fun Fact:

Jack L. Warner had Joan Crawford, who had just joined Warner Bros. and was looking for her first role at the studio, in mind for the role of Kathryn Mason, and sent the script for the film to her. However, after reading the script, Crawford told her agent to tell Warner that "Joan Crawford never dies in her movies, and she never ever loses her man to anyone".

This is a really good film with Humphrey Bogart at his sinister best. Mystery loving audiences will love the psychological plot.

Alexis Smith (June 8, 1921 – June 9, 1993). Her first credited role was in the feature film, Dive Bomber (1941), playing the female lead opposite Errol Flynn. Her performance in the film, The Constant Nymph (1943), which led to bigger parts. During the 1940s she appeared alongside some of the most popular male stars of the day: Errol Flynn in, Gentleman Jim (1942) and San Antonio (1945) (in which she sang a special version of the popular ballad "Some Sunday Morning"), Humphrey Bogart in, The Two Mrs. Carrolls (1947), Cary Grant in version of, the life of, Cole and Linda Porter in Night and Day (1946), and Bing Crosby in, Here Comes the Groom (1951).

Among Smith's other films are Rhapsody In Blue (1945), Of Human Bondage (1946), and The Young Philadelphians (1959).

Rose Hobart (May 1, 1906 – August 29, 2000), father was a cellist in the New York Symphony. Her first film role was the part of Julie in the first talking picture version of, Liliom (1930). She co-starred with Fredric March and Miriam Hopkins in the original film version of, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde(1931). Ironically, her co-star in, Dr. Jekyll and Mr, Hyde, Fredric March, starred in the 1934 film version of, Death Takes a Holiday.

Hobart often played the "other woman" in movies during the 1940s. Her last major film role was, Bride of Vengeance(1949).

During the 1950s she became an acting counselor. In the 1960s she took on television roles, including a part on Peyton Place.


  1. You can't beat Bogart in a film noir!
    Thanks for a great post Dawn,this is one of Bogart's that I haven't seen yet.

  2. Just watched this on TCM today and really enjoyed it. Great post!

  3. Paul, Thank you. Conflict, is an awesome classic movie. I'm suprised that it is not better known.

    Meredith, Thank you. I just saw the classic film, Conflict, also for the first time today. I loved it.


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