The Man Who Walked Alone (1945)

Passed   |    |  Comedy, Drama

The Man Who Walked Alone (1945) Poster

A hitch-hiking stranger manages a lift from a young woman into the town he's destined for, and she's from. Both land up in jail, twice, as the small town and its leading family slowly unravel the in-plain-sight mystery behind this man.


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31 May 2017 | boblipton
| The Conquering Hero Sneaks Into Town
I don't go looking at PRC movies expecting much in the way of excellence, even if they are directed by the underrated Christy Cabanne. So when I decided to take a look at this movie, I didn't expect much. Imagine my surprise when I found it a spiffy comedy in the vein of Preston Sturges' HAIL THE CONQUERING HERO.

When we first meet Dave O'Brien -- better remembered for his roles in countless Pete Smith shorts and low-grade B westerns -- he is trying to hitch a lift into his home town. All we know about him is that he is a war vet who grew up in an orphanage; his (new) home town was bequeathed to him by his fox hole buddy who hasn't made it back. He annoys Kay Aldredge, a local heiress engaged to a politician whom she doesn't love, and gets a ride from her. They are promptly thrown into jail. Twice.

I said this movie is in the vein of Preston Sturges' great comedy, but it is far more cynical. The auctorial voice in the other movie is cynical, even as the characters are stoic and steadfast; even the politicians in HAIL are well-meaning, if terribly confused. In this movie, every character is cynical: not just the kid sister and the worldly-wise aunt, but even the dithery mother. They all know they are putting on a false front, and are more concerned with appearances than the realities.

In many ways, the script of this movie offers a film noir world view hiding under the mask of a standard romantic comedy. It's filled with fine comedy veterans who underplay their roles. In the end, it offers the message that there is hope, so long as people are honest; also a few laughs along the way.

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Release Date:

15 March 1945



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