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Directed by Ida Lupino, Elmer Clifton

United States 1949 91 mins. In English

This atmospheric noir focuses on a bored young waitress (Sally Forrest) who follows a suave musician (Leo Penn) on the road, only to have the cold realities of life thrown in her face.

From a script by Lupino (story by soon-to-be-blacklisted Paul Jarrico)—but also featuring her considerable directing talents after Elmer Clifton fell ill during production—Not Wanted is a lean morality play characterized by noir tropes such as the character with nowhere left to turn and the spurned lover. Sally (Sally Forrest), a bored young waitress, lives in a do-nothing, go-nowhere town, but longs for something bigger and brighter. When suave young musician Steve (Leo Penn) comes through town, Sally falls head-over-heels and follows him on the road, destination unknown—until she winds up pregnant and pursued by Steve’s creepy friend. “A startling blend of compassion and invention. Lupino displays a documentary avidity for the details of work and play. She conveys Sally’s unworldly, impractical passion with tender, intimate close-ups and an intense, effects-driven subjectivity-a hallucinatory sequence in a hospital is a masterpiece of low-budget Expressionism.”—Richard Brody, The New Yorker. New 4k digital restoration!

Genres: Film Noir

Appears in: Three By Ida Lupino