Skip to content

Directed by Nicholas Ray

United States 1952 82 mins.

Injecting atmosphere and detailed character development to an already very strong script by A.I. Bezzerides, Robert Ryan stars as Jim Wilson, a hardboiled-as-can-be New York detective sent upstate to investigate a murder. What Wilson happens upon, however, is far more complicated, as the murder-suspect Danny (Sumner Williams) is mentally ill, and Wilson is quickly paired with Walter Brent (Ward Bond), father of the murdered man. Further complicating matters is Wilson’s immediate enchantment with Mary (Ida Lupino), Danny’s sister who happens to be blind and saint-like. Wilson, sensing his own deliverance and rejuvenation, has a choice to make: help the clearly ailing Danny or succumb to the pressures of traditional justice. Although met with luke-warm critical and popular reception upon release, the film has since become widely considered “one of the loveliest of Nick Ray’s movies.”—Dave Kehr.



The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.