Kill or Be Killed (1950)

Approved   |    |  Crime, Film-Noir, Mystery


Kill or Be Killed (1950) Poster

Man accused of a murder he didn't commit hides out in the South American jungle.


5.9/10
62

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1 June 2017 | meaninglessname
7
| Respectable noir with exotic locale and Lawrence Tierney as the hero
This fast-paced and reasonably well-written noir is rare for a few reasons. One is simply that it's hard to find. Another is that it was shot on location in Brazil. Rarest perhaps is that quintessential noir bad boy Lawrence Tierney plays the hero for once.

Tierney, whose off-screen escapades rivaled those of the characters he played, had worn out his welcome in Hollywood by this time, but his performance here shows he could easily have become a leading man in action films. However, according to Wikipedia "In just seven years between 1944 and 1951, Tierney was arrested over a dozen times for brawling, frequently for drunkenness."

Here he plays an American engineer on assignment in a Brazilian river town. The familiar plot is one that was a favorite of Alfred Hitchcock among others: the innocent man, framed for a murder he didn't commit, tracking down the real killer, although in this case both the framing and tracking are accidental.

There's also the woman met along the way who believes him and helps conceal him, here a lackluster performance, perhaps intentional for a rather passive role, by little-known Marissa O'Brien.

At one point he joins an exploited plantation work gang, so there's even a bit of social commentary.

A must-see, if you can find it, for Tierney cultists.

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Genres

Crime | Film-Noir | Mystery

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