Drifter Frank Chambers (John Garfield) arrives at a quiet California roadside restaurant where he meets and falls for drop-dead gorgeous Cora (Lana Turner), the wife of restaurant owner Nick Smith (Cecil Kellaway). After Frank maneuvers his way into a job at the joint, he and Cora begin a deadly love affair and cook up plans to end her marriage and start a new life together. After a few botched attempts at a clean break, they’re forced to put their honeymoon on hold after being rerouted into the arms of a D.A. hot to convict and a corrupt lawyer with designs on Cora. Frank and Cora thought they packed just enough luck to avoid what should be unavoidable, but the duo failed to account for the possible intervention of a formidable force that doesn't need a badge.
“...A tremendously tense and dramatic show, and it gives Lana Turner and John Garfield the best roles of their careers… It is, indeed, a sincere comprehension of an American tragedy.” —Bosley Crowther, New York Times (May 1946) “Cora is a revolutionary character… It was a time when villainy was still color coded in most films, but Cora wears white… In her own way, she's making a bid for freedom.” —Jennie Kermode, Eye For Film “Adapted from a novel by America's finest pulp writer, James M. Cain, this 1946 film is a key work of the postwar period, dripping with demented romanticism and the venom of disillusionment. Tay Garnett directed, finding the pull of obsession in every tracking shot.” —Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
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