Directed by William Dieterle. With Charlton Heston, Lizabeth Scott, Vivica Lindfors
US 1950, 35mm, b/w, 98 min
Charlton Heston made his screen debut as a petty gambler haunted by his past in this moody and crisply paced noir classic. Film noir's partial roots in German Expressionist cinema are made clear by the evocative shadow world conjured in Dark City and by the presence of emigre UFA director William Dieterle, still better known today for the successful bio-pics he directed after first coming to Hollywood in the 1930s. One of Paramount's few forays into the seedy underworld embraced by film noir, Dark City offered an effective vehicle for studio siren Lizabeth Scott, as an enigmatic beauty and potential savior for Heston, as well as a first pairing of Jack Webb and Harry Morgan, united as criminal equivalent to their later roles in Dragnet.