20 June 2011 | ryepsen-1
What a disappointment
Mark Stevens was terrific in the earlier (and truer) noir, Dark Corner (1946), with not only the young Lucille Ball but also a masterful one- handed Martini pour. Cry of Vengeance, with Stevens in the main role and also directing, has promise but falls back on a dozen clichés: knocking out a tough guy with one sucker punch; confessing everything to a bartender; the ex-con revealing tenderness to a little kid with a broken doll; a character named Joey; and plenty of bleach blinds (Martha Hyer is, however, excellent). The sets, with flimsy doors and unconvincing wainscoting, are cheesy. Early on you'll note poor dubbing when an outdoor scene couldn't be miked. And Stevens is unrelentingly grim, evidently following his own direction that it wasn't necessary to allow nuances o show through.
You could have directed and scripted a better version, and I'll state here that I could as well. Be sure to catch Dark Corner, with its fine performance from Clifton Webb of Laura fame.