Private Hell 36

Private Hell 36 (1954-09-03)

Crime | Drama | Thriller |

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  • Status: Released
  • Runtime: 81m
  • Popularity: 1.963
  • Language: en
  • Budget: $0
  • Revenue: $0
  • Vote Average: 6.1
  • Vote Count: 20

  • John Chard

    Solidly Siegel? No, not really. Two detectives, Jack Farnham and Cal Bruner are deeply investigating a robbery in which $300,000 was stolen. As their investigation progresses, they, by way of a sultry woman called Lilli Marlowe, manage to find the perp and recover the cash. But Bruner has fallen for Marlowe, and realising she has expensive tastes and that his police salary can not sustain the relationship, he ponders turning to the dark side, with Farnham equally at odds with himself over the pressures of raising a family. Is Private Hell 36 a noir film? Well I'm no professionally paid expert on the subject, but it certainly has all the ingredients in place. Yet the film, in spite of some watchable attributes, is a largely character driven talky piece of fluff that isn't really raising the bar in the pantheon of film noir. Or, in fact, crime picture history. Certainly it's not a film that screams out that it was directed by Don Siegel. It's a solid premise to work from, and in Ida Lupino (Marlowe) and the great Steve Cochran (Bruner), the picture boasts two very fine performances, with each actor giving the film its emotional weight. A nod of approval also goes to the scoring of the piece by Leith Stevens, as jazzy blues like combos flit in and out to create an ear worthy alliance as our detectives battle with their very conscience. All things considered it's an enjoyable enough piece, but one that to me fades very quick from the memory. So, solid if unspectacular, and reliable if lacking in any major amount of thrills and brain tickling plotting. 5/10