7.1/10
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Impact (1949)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 1 April 1949 (USA)
A unfaithful wife plots with her lover to kill her husband, but the lover is accidentally killed instead. The husband stays in hiding, and lets his wife be charged with conspiracy.

Director:

Arthur Lubin

Writers:

Dorothy Davenport (screenplay) (as Dorothy Reid), Jay Dratler (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Brian Donlevy ... Walter Williams
Ella Raines ... Marsha Peters
Charles Coburn ... Lt. Tom Quincy
Helen Walker ... Irene Williams
Anna May Wong ... Su Lin Chung
Robert Warwick ... Capt. Callahan
Clarence Kolb ... Darcy
Art Baker ... Eldredge - Defense Attorney
William Wright ... Prosecutor
Mae Marsh ... Mrs. King (as Mrs. Peters)
Sheilah Graham Sheilah Graham ... Sheila Graham
Tony Barrett Tony Barrett ... Jim Torrence
Philip Ahn ... Ah Sing
Glen Vernon ... Ed (as Glenn Vernon)
Linda Leighton ... Miss Revere - Telephone Operator (as Linda Johnson)
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Storyline

In San Francisco, the successful self-made businessman Walter Williams has just bought three factories in Denver with the approval of the board of directors. His beloved wife Irene tells him that she is not feeling well enough to travel with him, and asks Walter to give a lift to her cousin Jim Torrance. On the highway, Jim, who is actually Irene's lover, tries to kill Walter hitting his head and throwing him off a cliff, and has a fatal fiery accident while escaping driving Walter's car. Walter is believed to be the driver and later his wife is sent to jail accused of plotting his murder. Meanwhile, the wounded Walter falls asleep in a moving van and eventually winds up in Larkspur, a small town in Idaho. He is hired as a mechanic in a gas station by the owner, Marsha Peters. For three months, Walter reads the news, expecting revenge with Irene sentenced to death, and he and Marsha fall in love for each other. When Walter discloses the truth to Marsha, she convinces him to return to ... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Wanted By Two Women! One For Love! One For Murder! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 April 1949 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mysteriet Williams See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

First film for Anna May Wong in seven years since Lady from Chungking (1942). She would not appear in another film until her last one - Portrait in Black (1960). See more »

Goofs

The width of the verge (side of the road) where Torrance stops the car to change the tyre is markedly different between the studio shots and the location shot. See more »

Quotes

Mrs. King: Don't forget, it's easier to be tolerant and understanding at fifty than it is to be at twenty-five.
See more »


Soundtracks

It Can't Be
Written by Leo C. Popkin and Chuck Gould
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User Reviews

Many memorable moments
26 May 2003 | by manuel-pestalozziSee all my reviews

Whoever likes movies of the late Forties should not miss this one. It tells a typical film noir story that is coherent and easy to understand. Impact is a quite artful picture, obviously made by first rate professionals. The balance between location shooting (mainly in and around San Francisco) and the extraordinarily stylish sets is in my opinion perfect and well thought out. At the center of the story is the attempted killing of the main character by his wife's lover. The car with the two men drives at night along a sinuous mountain road. It slows down and stops because of a flat tyre. As the viewers already know, this is the spot where the murder should take place. With unbelievable ease the natural surroundings (reminding you of the dramatic climax in Hitchcock's Family Plot) change into an almost expressionistic stage set with artificial fog at the bottom and everything. It is an unforgettable moment. What the film people could achieve in those days!

Brian Donlevy has some very good moments. As after a phone call he fully realises that his wife who he naively loved (calling himself "Softy" in his messages to her) had cheated and betrayed him, he stumbles to a bench on a station platform, stares into the void with dim eyes and then starts crying with rage and frustration. The scene takes almost a minute and proves that Donlevy is a much underrated actor who should be honored more.

Apart from the realistic presentation of parts of San Francisco in the late Forties (it complements Welles‘ impressions in Lady from Shanghai"), Impact has some nice pieces of slang (at least to a foreigner whose mother tongue is not English). "Grovel a shuteye" for "taking a nap", that's nice, isn't it?


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