Hangover Square

[3.0 stars] [IMDb Link] [Amazon Link]

It's billed as a film noir, and it has a lot of the trappings: black and white, tricky lighting, a black-hearted dame bringing misery to our protagonist.

Although the protagonist is pretty miserable all by himself. He's George Harvey Bone, played by a slimmed-down Laird Cregar, a composer of music. He's supposed to be working on a concerto, serious stuff. But he makes the mistake of getting tied up with the devious Netta, a sleazy nightclub singer. George writes her a song, and she immediately figures out that if she can get him to write more songs, she'll be able to sing her way to fame and fortune.

But here's the funny thing: George also has this funny mental problem: when he hears loud discordant noises, he goes a little crazy. No, make that a lot crazy, as in homicidal maniac-crazy. Eventually he snaps out of it, but y'know, not until after he's done some pretty bad shit.

For some reason, as near as I can tell, this malady is not cataloged in DSM–5.

Anyway, things lumber along to a grandiose noirish finish. The acting is over the top, especially when George gets all bug-eyed as he slips into one of his murderous states.

Trivia: did I mention Laird Cregar's loss of weight? This was his last movie. He died in his early thirties, and most people seem to blame his untimely death on his absurdly unhealthy efforts to slim down. He apparently wanted to avoid being typecast as an obese villain. I.e., a heavy. Too bad.