Helen Brent knows Sam Wild is more than a social climber who married her wealthy foster sister. He's a remorseless killer. And yet she finds his brash confidence, square-shouldered good looks and constant aura of menace completely irresistible.
Versatile director Robert Wise (The Day the Earth Stood Still, The Sound of Music, West Side Story) shows his film-noir chops, with this dark gem whose mix of heiress sisters, stone-hearted men, needy hangers-on and inexplicable but inevitable love plays like a soap opera that refuses to wash itself clean. Walter Slezak portrays the verse-quoting shamus. And Claire Trevor and Lawrence Tierney portray the illicit lovers who play with fire...and burn their names forever into film-noir lore.
A sleek thriller about insecurity, infidelity, and murder, BORN TO KILL, based on a novel by James Gunn, is a dark and gritty melodrama that probes the ever-lurking dark side of human nature and the results of giving in to those impulses. The film opens with Sam (played by a brilliantly evil Lawrence Tierney) committing a double murder in a fit of jealousy. The bodies are soon discovered by the beautiful, wealthy Helen (Claire Trevor) who, not wanting to be involved, flees town and doesn't report the crime. In a neat twist, Helen and Sam soon find themselves on the same train, wildly attracted to each other. Visiting her estate, Sam learns Helen is engaged to be married, so he goes after her sister Georgia (Audrey Long), marrying her. But it isn't long before Sam's old life--and the murder he committed--comes back to haunt him. This inevitability, along with his insatiable jealousy of Helen, pushes Sam to new heights of brutality. The twists and turns in the story are supported beautifully by Robert de Grasse's moody cinematography. This unflinching film noir is a little-known Robert Wise gem.
Film Noir |