The Big Clock | Chicago Reader

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95 minutes · 1985

Crime drama, Film noir
John Farrow directed this tasteful film noir (1948), which is something of a contradiction in terms; it's reminiscent of Fritz Lang without Lang's hysteria. Ray Milland stars as a crime reporter working for a magazine run by Charles Laughton, and his investigation of a murder leads him right to the boss's office. Farrow creates a coldly threatening atmosphere, mainly through his expert use of the styles and shapes of modern architecture. Not a great thriller, but not bad. Based on a novel by Kenneth Fearing; it was remade almost 40 years later as No Way Out.

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