Saturday, October 8, 2016

HIGH WALL (1947)

Things aren't looking so good for brain-damaged WWII vet Robert Taylor when he's found in a car wreck with his wife's dead body in the passenger seat.  And things look even worse when the cops discover that she was strangled to death before the wreck!  Taylor looks guilty as hell, but since he's unable to stand trial due to his chronic headaches that cause him to black out (he has no memory of the night in question), they simply toss him in a mental institution.  While there, he meets some doctors that are able to dust the cobwebs loose and...well, you just gotta see for yourself.

It's always sad to see an otherwise above average film crippled with a below average title, but that's the case with HIGH WALL.  What the hell does "high wall" even mean?  I guess it's referring to the wall around the mental institution, but the only time you ever see the wall is in the opening titles!  At no point in the film does anybody actually interact with the wall itself.  Who knows, maybe it's referencing the wall around Taylor's lost memories.  I have no clue, but whatever it's talking about, it's still a dull name for a movie.

Dull title aside, HIGH WALL was a good watch.  I really enjoy seeing Robert Taylor stretching out his acting chops and the story held my attention.  Interesting photography, good pace, nice lighting, solid supporting cast and it's always a pleasure to see Herbert Marshall in action.  He's just so smooth!

Recommended for fans of classic 40's noir.