Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.
Friday, March 14, 2008
THREE STRANGERS (1946). Director: Jean Negulesco. Written by John Huston and Howard Koch.
Tied in with an old Chinese legend, three strangers share a sweepstakes ticket and an uncertain destiny. Crystal Shackleford (Geraldine Fitzgerald) is determined to get her husband, David (Alan Napier), back from the new woman in his life and will tell any nasty lie to do so. Jerome Arbutny (Sydney Greenstreet) is facing complete and total ruination if it gets out that he played fast and loose with a client's money -- he even goes so far as to ask the old biddy for her hand in marriage. Johnny West (Peter Lorre) is a foolish drunk who is arrested for a murder he didn't commit and was only nominally involved in. Will the goddess Kwan Yin favor them with good fortune, or will their own natures get the better of them? Unusual, cleverly scripted story features some fine performances from the stars and supporting cast, with Peter Lorre playing a more sympathetic -- and romantic -- part than usual. Decidedly offbeat and certainly unpredictable.
Verdict: Something different. ***.