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Directed by Nicholas Ray

United States 1949 84 mins.

Written and produced by the esteemed Herman Mankiewicz (Citizen Kane), Ray’s second feature for RKO concerns aging, cosmopolitan singer Marian (Maureen O’Hara), who takes the bratty, unpolished upstart Susan (Gloria Grahame) under her wing in an attempt to jumpstart Susan’s career as a performer. When Susan, shot in the chest, turns up at the hospital, all signs point to Marian. The film, told through a series of increasingly tense flashbacks, is a great example of Ray’s directorial promise that would fully flower in subsequent films; his “signature use of staircases and overhead shots to represent conflict is already evident, as is his incredible talent with actors.”—Harvard Film Archive.