Friday, July 04, 2014

Tonight's Movie: Follow Me Quietly (1949) - A Warner Archive DVD Review

Regular readers know I'm a fan of William Lundigan, so I recently enjoyed reviewing him in this year's Warner Archive release of the most entertaining MYSTERY IN MEXICO (1948), directed by Robert Wise.

Having enjoyed that film last month, I was glad to also have the opportunity to review the Archive's release of Lundigan's FOLLOW ME QUIETLY (1949), a film I first saw on Turner Classic Movies in 2011. This stylish movie is only 59 minutes long, and it was a real treat to revisit it via the Archive's lovely DVD. Indeed, MYSTERY IN MEXICO paired with FOLLOW ME QUIETLY would make a terrific double bill, yet clock in at just about two hours total!

The craftsmen behind the camera on FOLLOW ME QUIETLY have Grade A noir credentials: the director was Richard Fleischer, who directed one of my favorite films, THE NARROW MARGIN (1952), and the Lillie Hayward screenplay was based on a story cocreated by Anthony Mann. I've seen many Mann films this year thanks to UCLA's festival celebrating his career, so that was another reason I was glad to take a fresh look at this title.

Lundigan plays Lt. Harry Grant, who is desperately trying to solve serial killings by a murderer who calls himself "the Judge." Harry is aided by Sgt. Art Collins (Jeff Corey), and alternately hindered and helped by Ann Gorman (Dorothy Patrick of THE BIG GUSHER), who writes for a sensationalistic crime magazine.

The fast-paced "early CSI" aspects are beautifully shot by Robert de Grasse; note the shadows and smoke-filled air when Harry unveils the suspect's likeness to fellow cops, or the odd camera angles as the police pound the pavement searching for leads. (I'd also note that one shot of handcuffed suspects being brought into LAPD has probably turned up in half a dozen movies, including, I believe, Mann's HE WALKED BY NIGHT.) The killer strikes on rainy nights, which adds to the film's atmosphere.

While Ann initially starts out as rather a pain in the neck, her relationship with Harry turns playful when she unexpectedly turns up at his apartment after he's worked a long shift. She's disconcerted as the exhausted cop proceeds to get ready for bed while they're talking, and from that point on their relationship develops quite nicely, especially considering the short time frame.

I felt Lundigan was well matched with the leading ladies from both FOLLOW ME QUIETLY and MYSTERY IN MEXICO and wish he'd made more films with both Dorothy Patrick and Jacqueline White!

The supporting cast includes Frank Ferguson, Paul Guilfoyle, Charles D. Brown, and Robert Emmett Keane.

The DVD, which looks terrific, includes the trailer.

Thanks to the Warner Archive for providing a review copy of this DVD. Warner Archive releases are MOD (manufactured on demand) and may be ordered at the Warner Archive website.


Blogger Kristina Dijan said...

One of my fave B's, as you know I love that scary scene that I dare not spoil :) it's one of the biggest chills in all movies.

4:38 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Yes!!!!! Still scary the second time. LOL!!!

Best wishes,

11:18 PM  

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