Cinema: The New Pictures, Sep. 13, 1948

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In photographing the action, Director Hitchcock brought off a tour de force. There is not a single cut in the film; it was shot on one set, in solid ten-minute reels, and the end of each reel dissolves into the beginning of the next. The action is continuous for 80 minutes' playing time. The flow of time is elegantly caught (in Technicolor) in the changing light on the Manhattan skyline, as seen through a huge window. This way of shooting necessitated split-second alertness in movement and timing. The professional movie camera is an enormous machine, but Hitchcock kept it moving on his smallish, crowded set as freely as a dancer. Furniture and whole chunks of set had to be whisked out of the camera's way as it prowled and pried among the players, then replanted as promptly and silently, to meet the camera's turning eye.

This Hitchcock stunt also required of the actors a sustained discipline that is fairly new to the screen. The result is quite exciting. Continuous action builds a tension all its own. The players, too, are keyed unusually high by the intensity and interest of trying something new, so that, although their performances are elementary, they have a vividness and vitality which are rare in current movies.

Two Guys from Texas (Warner). Jack Carson (comedy and song) and Dennis Morgan (romance and song) stop off at a dude ranch run by quite a looker (Dorothy Malone), who can also sing. The act the two guys put on in the patio, for the other guests, would probably break the monotony of life on a dude ranch more successfully than it breaks the monotony of watching this picture. The guys are suspected of theft but finally catch the real crooks. They are moderately amusing when they horse around with a psychiatrist (Fred Clark). They even appear, in caricature, in an animated cartoon dream sequence. It is all pretty pointless, but inoffensive.

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