Some Murder Plots Just Don’t Go As Planned

“Impact” is a 1949 film noir written by Jay Dratler and Dorothy Davenport and directed by Arthur Lubin.  The cast includes Brian Donlevy, Ella Raines, Charles Coburn, and Helen Walker.

A millionaire industrialist named Walter Williams is a decent fellow, but he has a little trouble picking the right women to marry.  His wife, played by Walker, sets up a plan to kill her not so beloved husband with her lover.  Walter survives the attempt but circumstances allow him to assume another identity and take up a job as a mechanic working for a widow in a nearby town.  Of course, a romance begins to develop there, but Walter still has the little matter of his murderous wife to deal with.  The wife actually does end up being on the hook for his murder until he is convinced to reemerge. Then Walter has his own murder charge to resolve since the guy who tried to whack him ended up killed in a bizarre road accident.

Raines plays the widow in the unlikely career of running her deceased husband’s garage.  Coburn has the role of an interesting detective who is a bit sharper than he appears even though he is on the verge of retirement.

It’s a fairly interesting movie in spite of the implausible dialogue and character development that riddles it.  Donlevy’s Walter Williams is rather likeable and easy to sympathize with.  There seems to be some effort to give him some depth as a character. Sure, the movie has some cheesy moments and moves at a slower pace sometimes than I prefer, but it’s not too bad.

 

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