With Humphrey Bogart, Lizabeth Scott, Morris Carnovsky, Charles Cane, William Prince, Marvin Miller
Directed by John Cromwell
Black and White
Reviewed by JB

     Made for Columbia Pictures, DEAD RECKONING appears to be an attempt to instantly recreate the success of Bogart's previous Warner Brothers film THE BIG SLEEP - and not a bad attempt at that.  It's a film noir that just about has it all - the convoluted, murky plotline, the injured narrator (in shadow) telling the tale to a third party, the dead body being used as a prop, and the Macguffin (a letter that is supposed to explain everything) that everybody cares about but nobody ever bothers to read.  Every film noir needs a femme fatale, and it is only natural that, with Bogart already showing so much chemistry with the young, lanky and husky-voiced Lauren Bacall, Columbia would team him with young, lanky and husky-voiced Lizabeth Scott. She's good, but there are no real Bogey-Scott fireworks. Still, she would go on to become the Queen of Film Noir.  Often overlooked when talking about Bogart movies, DEAD RECKONING is still one of the finer films Bogey did for Columbia. - JL

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Copyright © 2008 John V. Brennan, John Larrabee