December 3, 2016
The Big Clock.
Review #882: The Big Clock.
Ray Milland (George Stroud), Charles Laughton (Earl Janoth), Maureen O'Sullivan (Georgette Stroud), George Macready (Steve Hagen), Rita Johnson (Pauline York), Elsa Lanchester (Louise Patterson), Harry Morgan (Bill Womack), Harold Vermilyea (Don Klausmeyer), Dan Tobin (Ray Cordette), Richard Webb (Nat Sperling), Elaine Riley (Lily Gold), Luis Van Rooten (Edwin Orlin), Bobby Watson (Morton Spaulding), and Lloyd Corrigan (McKinley) Directed by John Farrow.
The Big Clock utilizes its main actors (Milland and Laughton) to great effect, in a movie that manages to work a film noir in part due to its sharp and quick pace. Laughton portrays this villain with a great kind of villainy, in part because how mean he comes off. It's so easy to see parts of this man in other people, but Laughton manages to make him seem so compelling. You know from the gecko that he's a villain, but the way he oozes the lines makes him so watchable. Milland shouldn't be forgotten either, as he makes for a good everyman protagonist. He's a believable character who isn't overplayed from reality. It is a film noir, but it also has some good snappy dialogue along with melodrama. O'Sullivan is okay, though she doesn't really get much screen time. Corrigan is pretty noteworthy, especially around the climax, alongside Macready's effort with a sniveling character. The ending of the movie is swift, after a good deal of buildup and suspense. It's a clever film where the hunter becomes the hunted, but it also is a nifty little look into newspaper editorials of the time, with a serviceable length of 95 minutes and some nice shots (such as the clock) which work well enough for me, and I'm sure it will work well enough for you as well.
Overall, I give it 9 out of 10 stars.