Welcome to a new series on the Film Noir Foundation Tumblr dedicated to Film Noir history! We are going to focus on what happened “today” in the world of film noir! That could be something trivia-esque or simply a release. Join us! It’ll be fun!
Today’s film: SOMEWHERE IN THE NIGHT (Joseph L. Mankewicz, 1946)
Today’s Date: March 3, 1947
Writer Richard Harland Smith synopsizes this film best (and the link to his fantastic article on the film is here- highly recommended!) :
John Hodiak stars in SOMEWHERE IN THE NIGHT as an American GI shipped stateside after a grenade blast has altered his face and shattered his memory. He only knows his name is George Taylor because that’s what the Army doctors call him, and there it is embossed in his leather wallet. Returning to Los Angeles with only a couple of bucks and a letter from a seeming friend named Larry Cravat, who has deposited a tidy sum of money for him in an LA bank, Taylor plays detective, checking up on “George Taylor” as if he is a missing person and attempting to collect that tidy sum of money. When the teller at the bank shows alarm at this account record and summons the branch manager, Taylor takes it on his arches, still not knowing who he is but not wanting to find out from the cops.
The film has a brilliant cast. Jeff Corey, Richard Conte, Nancy Guild, John Hodiak. If you get the DVD, it even has a commentary track by the Film Noir Foundation’s very own Eddie Muller! So what does this have to do with Today In Film Noir History?
Somewhere in the Night had its Los Angeles premiere on June 1, 1946 to mixed reviews. Bosley Crowther of the New York Times was not a fan, reporting, “The further this un-remembering gentleman pursues his mysterious past and confronts odd and brutal characters, the more he–and you–become confused. Apparently he and his associates fit the pieces together in the end, but this writer is still completely baffled. Who was who, and who got shot?"
However, this film which may seem to many to be a lesser or possibly forgettable work was good enough for that other wonderful medium- RADIO! On March 3, 1947, a radio version of Somewhere in the Night starring Lynn Bari (Final picture) in the Nancy Guild role was broadcast on Lux Radio Theater and that can be found by clicking right HERE!