Film of the Week: Build My Gallows High (1947)

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Jacques Tourneur directs Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer and Kirk Douglas in this twisty turny noir about a detective who fell for the wrong dame then cashed out only to be drawn back into a new crime by the murderous ex who hired him to originally find her.

Proudly over complicated and nihilistic. Bramble tangle plotting that seems to add a new crime or indiscretion with every other line of dialogue makes this a satisfying puzzle to straighten out. You get a rare sympathetic turn from the burly and cool Mitchum, an against type unpredictable villain in Douglas and a queue of hard hearted but stunningly beautiful dames to mistrust. The verbal exchanges crackle, a lethal sexiness pervades, the shadowy visual symbolism captivates. Every pore of this mystery bleeds quality, bleeds noir. Get lost in its deep black oozing pleasures.

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