Rent Impact (1949)

3.6 of 5 from 48 ratings
1h 50min
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Synopsis:
Walter Williams' two-timing wife and her lover plot his murder but he survives the attack and the lover is burned beyond recognition whilst driving Williams' car. Whilst the dazed Walter (Brian Donlevy) recuperates in Idaho, his memory is brought back by reading reports of his so-called demise. When he returns to San Francisco he finds himself on trial for the murder of Irene's (Helen Walker)'s lover.
Actors:
, , , , , , , , , , Sheilah Graham, , , , , , , , Lucius Cook,
Directors:
Producers:
Leo C. Popkin
Writers:
Dorothy Davenport, Jay Dratler
Studio:
Elstree Hill Entertainment
Genres:
Classics, Drama, Thrillers
BBFC:
Release Date:
21/11/2005
Run Time:
110 minutes
Languages:
English Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono
Subtitles:
None
DVD Regions:
Region 0 (All)
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Full Screen 1.37:1
Colour:
B & W

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Reviews (1) of Impact

Low Budget Noir. - Impact review by Steve Mason

Spoiler Alert
10/02/2021

Strictly B film noir about an unfaithful wife (Helen Walker) who schemes to murder her rich industrialist husband (Brian Donlevy) with the help of her lover on a car journey. Only the man fails to complete the job, and directly afterwards is consumed in the flames of a crash with a petrol truck leaving the world to believe Donlevy has died. While the husband stumbles into a small town in Idaho to work as a mechanic for the tomboyish Ella Raines, Walker is busted by smart Irish cop Charles Coburn and goes on trial for a murder that didn't happen.

 Impact shows how robust the conventions of film noir are. The film is a reshuffling of noir archetypes, made by an unremarkable director and crew (save lauded cinematographer Ernest Laszlo before he graduated to major productions), and a familiar cast but more commonly in supporting roles. But it's still a very entertaining film, with an atmosphere that has a way of staying with you.

Donlevy isn't all that comfortable in romantic situations, but he's fine as a schmuck that gets played for a sap and Raines lifts the second half as the unambiguously good girl. Walker makes an excellent femme fatale.

Lubin was a lifelong low budget director but he could turn out a pacy thriller and he handles the narrative well. The location shooting around San Francisco is a bonus, and while not all that artistic, the visual contrasts between the Frisco and rural Idaho are striking. American film noir very seldom lets you down.

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