The film tells the tale of a man called George Taylor (John Hodiak), who returns home to the US from fighting in World War II. He is suffering from amnesia, and tries to track down his old identity, following a trail left behind by the mysterious Mr Larry Cravat. He ends up stumbling into a murder mystery involving Nazi loot.
It has an interesting and competent cast featuring John Hodiak, Lloyd Nolan, Richard Conte, a very young Harry Morgan in a bit part and Nancy Guild among others. Hodiak went on to bigger pictures but sadly died at age 41 of a heart attack in 1955. Nolan and Conte had busy and productive film careers playing characters not unlike those in this picture. (Police detective and bad guy.) Morgan later became famous for his role as Colonel Sherman T. Potter in M*A*S*H in the mid-70s. The film is studded with lesser known character actors.
Guild was offered a Hollywood contract while a college freshman. She acted in a few movies in the late 40s-early 50s (holding her own effectively in this film I thought against a more experienced Hodiak) while in her '20s, got married to a Broadway producer and virtually dropped from sight afterwards.
It probably deserves more attention as the third film directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz who went on to become famous as a writer and director.
There is a commentary track offered by a knowledgeable film historian that I listened to briefly. Fans of film noir would find his comments especially interesting as this film is a classic in that regard. He also identifies some inside jokes in the picture, indicating that Mankiewicz had his tongue in cheek during production. Mankiewicz shared the screen writing credits. Here's a pun I noticed. The mysterious Larry Cravat's last name was also well-known as a slang term for necktie in those days. As a teenager who wore one, I remember the term well. As in "Hey, man, that's a cool cravat you're wearing."
There is a lot about this film - the cars in particular - that induce reminiscences. There were very few new cars available in 1946 as the Big Three auto makers converted from making tanks and army trucks to civilian wheels. The two door convertable that Nancy Guild's character casually loans to Hodiak may have generated more lust in the audience than the actress herself.
It's a Netflix rental. SD DVD released in 2005. OAR 4x3. B&W. Mono sound. It played well.