Director Joseph L. Mankiewicz produced work within numerous filmic genres, yet always retained his personal touch, which he developed in order to explore and analyze the self-conscious characters he created. SOMEWHERE IN THE NIGHT is his film noir–although many of his movies exhibited a noir-ish tone–and unfolds in post-WWII L.A. George Taylor (John Hodiak, THE PEOPLE AGAINST O'HARA) is a soldier who returns from the war after a grenade left him alive but without his memory. All he has to go on is his name and a letter from an old girlfriend, informing him of how much she hates him. Taylor sets about attempting to locate his lost identity, finding a note informing him that his “friend” George Cravat has deposited $5,000 to his account. When Taylor goes to claim it, he triggers a stream of encounters with people who he has apparently double-crossed in some way, but enlists the aid of a sympathetic cabaret singer who knew his former girlfriend. The plot is full of twists that keep the suspense level at top notch, and the cast of B-actors all turn in fine performances, creating a classic, moody noir with dashes of comedy. John Ireland (LITTLE BIG HORN, THE BUSHWHACKERS) narrates.
“Joseph L. Mankiewicz's nervous nightmare (made in his first year of directing) isn't an all-hallowed member of the noir canon – it's fairly slick, and Mankiewicz has little or no existentialist cred. But it sings the school's black-hearted lament.”
- Village Voice
“Out of this familiar premise, Mankiewicz has fashioned a classic film noir.”
- Time Out
“It's smashingly photographed in the classic styles of the genre.”