“Somewhere in the Night (1946),” directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, has something of an intriguing (if tired) premise; a man (John Hodiak) wakes up in a military hospital. He can’t speak because his jaw is wired shut, and he doesn’t remember who he is, but everyone keeps calling him George Taylor. He decides to go with it, and waits to recover, to give himself time to find out his identity.
It’s Film Noir, and it’s not bad so far; the trail he follows on the quest is kind of cool, mainly because he’s looking for another man, Larry Cravat, a friend of his who left him money and a letter, and who has since disappeared. Unfortunately for Taylor, he’s not alone in his quest; he keeps running into some unpleasant types, looking for Cravat and some money Larry may have stolen.
And I just had to stop watching at this point; I figured out the ‘mystery’ within the first 15 minutes, and the bad acting and endless exposition were not enough to make me stick around for the characters to figure it out too.
Want some noir with teeth? Go rent “Laura” or “The Maltese Falcon.” Leave “Somewhere in the Night” where it belongs; the back shelf of memory, never to be seen again.
“Somewhere in the Night” (1946)
Directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Written by Howard Dimsdale, Joseph L. Mankiewicz, Lee Strasberg
Starring: John Hodiak (George W. Taylor)
Nancy Guild (Christy Smith)
Lloyd Nolan (Police Lt. Donald Kendall)