There are elements in great Noir films that catapult those individual films into the stratosphere. You know them when you see them, or hear them. I enjoy great cinematography, either great sleazy locations or great stylized studio sets, incredible set pieces that are icing on the cake. I grin at memorable characters that leave indelible marks on my soul, smile at thirty-five cents for a bottle of beer, and I love Femme Fatales to die for.
|Vince Stone (Marvin)|
|Lucy Chapman (Dorothy Green)|
He gets the skinny from The Retreat "B" girl Lucy Chapman (Dorothy Green) that he wasn't sick, as Duncan's wife Bertha (Jeanette Nolan) claims, but that he was going to get a divorce and shack up with her. The next day he picks up a county squeal of the teletype that a girl meeting Lucy's description is found strangled on the side of a road with cigarette burns all over her body. Bannion checks and makes her ID at the morgue. Bannion goes back to The Retreat to pump the bartender for leads.
|Katie Bannion (Brando)|
So Bannion with his wife dead and his house gutted, starts checking Philadelphia Wrecking Yards for any that employ ex-cons who may know how to do the job. He finds a connection to Vince Stone (Marvin)
Lagana: Prisons are bulging with dummies who wonder how they got there.
Bannion runs into Stone in a bar as he is roughing up some customers, Bannion knocks Stone around embarrassing him in front of his peers. Stone then he skedaddles in a rush with two of his goons leaving Debbie marooned at the bar.
|Stone and Doris (Jones)|
|Debbie is impressed by Bannion|
|Debbie offers to buy Bannion a drink|
Bannion leaves for the hotel but he hears the clicks of high heels on the sidewalk behind him, Debby has followed him out and attaches herself to him, impressed, saying that she never saw anyone put Vince Stone in his place before. Debby falls hard for Bannion, but in 1953 the Hays Code still rules and although Debby accompanies Bannion to his hotel, but of course not much happens between them and (as most always in those days) the "bad" girl must be punished.
|Picking up Bannion on the street|
|In Bannion's hotel room|