Thursday, January 27, 2011
From the Film Noir Classic Collection, Vol. 5: Backfire(1950).
Backfire(1950). Noir. Cast: Virginia Mayo, Gordon MacRae, Edmond O'Brien and Viveca Lindfors.
This movie mystery is told in flashbacks: About a returning serviceman in a VA hospital recovering from a spinal injury. During his recovery he falls in love with his nurse and begins to make plans with his friend Steve to buy a ranch together.
While still in the VA hospital, Bob begins to have nightmares that his friend Steve is in danger. Late one night, he’s visited by Steve’s girlfriend, who tells him that .. Steve, is badly injured. Bob falls asleep before he can find out more. (The blurred vision give a hallucinatory quality to the scene).
After Bob, is released from the hospital he has plans to spend a romantic weekend with Mayo. Their weekend plans come to an end when he’s picked up by cops and taken to the homicide division. There he’s told that his best friend is the main suspect in the killing of a well known gambler. Bob, wants to help his friend clear his name.
I really enjoyed seeing MacRae in a film noir. I mostly know him from his performances in musicals. There are plenty of flavorful character actors in supporting roles. I thought the film was suspenseful and very entertaining.
He graduated from Cornell University and earned a law degree at St. John's University School of Law in Queens, New York.
During the Great Depression, he worked as a boxer, baseball player, construction worker and model.
Clark got his big break when he was signed by Warner Bros. in 1943.
He performed in war movies: Action in the North Atlantic (1943), his breakthrough part, opposite Humphrey Bogart, Destination Tokyo (1943) with Cary Grant, and Pride of the Marines (1945) with friend John Garfield. According to Clark, Bogart gave him his stage name.
She trained at the Royal Dramatic Theatre School, Stockholm. Soon after, she became a theater and film star in Sweden.
She moved to the United States in 1946 after being signed by Warner Bros. She appeared in more than one hundred films such as: Night Unto Night, No Sad Songs for Me, Dark City, King of Kings, Creepshow and Stargate.
In the last years of her life, she taught acting at the School of Visual Arts in New York.