It started like any other night... Ambulance driver Frank Jessup (Robert Mitchum) gets a call from the house of Catherine Tremayne (Barbara O'Neil), little realising where this routine call will take him. Mrs Tremayne has a beautiful, willful stepdaughter Diane (Jean Simmons); she's attracted to Frank and insists he take a job as the family chauffeur. Frank's wary of getting too close to the kid, however, especially when he realises she's not as sweet as she looks. But Diane has a habit of getting what she wants and it doesn't matter what - or who - it costs...
If you are a fan of Preminger's early noir films you will like this. Not quite as good as Where The Sidewalk Ends, but far superior to Fallen Angel and Whirlpool. Great performances from Mitchum and Simmons, great script and solid direction from Preminger. I think this film might have been cooked up as a sort of "homage" to the masterpiece that is Sunset Boulevard which was released a year earlier. It is not in that league, but it is a very solid and enjoyable film and Mitchum fans will enjoy seeing him in very similar territory to that seen in Out of the Past.
From the minute you see Diane (Jean Simmons) playing the piano, the white face framed by the black wig, Morticia like, you know she is trouble. Frank (Robert Mitchum) gives her the Mitchum quizzical look and you know there is only one trajectory for this couple and that is downwards and in the final scene backwards.
A good story, neatly told, with fine performances. Barbara O'Neil is great as the wicked stepmother.