Watch Midnight Manhunt
- 1 hr 4 min
Midnight Manhunt is a 1945 film noir about a man falsely accused of murder who goes on the run to clear his name. The film stars William Gargan as Steve Barnes, a radio actor who is accused of killing a studio executive. Barnes discovers that the real killer is still at large and sets out to find him before the police can catch him. The film opens with a murder at a radio station late at night. Barnes, who was at the station to audition for a part, is the prime suspect due to his proximity to the victim. Barnes is arrested and taken to jail, but escapes with the help of his girlfriend, Georgia Gale (played by Ann Savage). Barnes and Gale go on the run, but the police are hot on their trail. They soon realize that the real killer is still out there, and that he is someone who works at the radio station. Barnes decides to investigate the other employees at the station in order to uncover the killer's identity. Barnes and Gale soon encounter Leo Gorcey's character, a wisecracking taxi driver named Mugsy, who helps them out in their search for the killer. Together, the three of them solve the crime and expose the real killer. What sets Midnight Manhunt apart from other films in the film noir genre is its use of the radio station setting. The film features several scenes that take place in the radio studio, and the characters are all involved in some way with the production of radio dramas. This unique setting adds an extra layer of intrigue and suspense to the already tense plot. The performances in the film are solid all around. Gargan is convincing as the hard-boiled hero who is determined to clear his name, and his chemistry with Savage's character provides an emotional core to the film. Gorcey provides comic relief with his wisecracks, and his character's loyalty to Barnes and Gale adds a sense of camaraderie to the film. The film's direction by William C. Thomas is also noteworthy. Thomas uses lighting and shadows to great effect, creating a moody atmosphere that is perfect for the film's noir sensibility. The film also features some impressive camera work, including a suspenseful chase scene through the streets of Los Angeles. Overall, Midnight Manhunt is a solid film noir that deserves more recognition than it has received. Its unique radio station setting, solid performances, and impressive direction all make for an engaging and thrilling film that is sure to keep audiences on the edge of their seats.