John Mills Walks UK Mean Streets in The Long Memory (1953)
Wrong place at wrong time John Mills pulls
twelve years for a murder he (in fact, no one) committed, actual perps and
supposed victim at large and going unpunished until he gets out to get even.
The Long Memory is low-key British noir that captures maybe too well UK austerity
still in play after a devastating war, its effect felt on locations
near-post-apocalyptic. Our mean streets were like yellow brick roadcompared
with what Mills traverses here, harsh tours like The Long Memory a workout even
for trench coat faddists who think they know edgy. Brit noir generally had us
beat for its stripping of all glamour and star appeal from dark subjects.
Players over there took work as same was found and brought no temperament to
gigs they were thankful to have. It's for that and conviction otherwise that
all seem born to hardships portrayed. A UK industry hanging on by thumbs
was well-suited to desperate topic in any case. Continued search for noir from there is
always rewarding. I've not seen one yet that missed. The Long Memory is another
from VCI's Rank Collection, and quality is fine.