Friday, December 23, 2011
Knock on Any Door
Such is the case with Ray's sophomore effort Knock on Any Door. Lawyer Andrew Morton (Humphrey Bogart) is faced with the task of proving his client Nick Romano (John Derek), who is charged with killing a police officer, innocent.
Morton claims that Romano wasn't given a chance at having a life of his own. Living in the slums made Romano turn to a life of crime. But did it persuade him to murder?
Much like Gloria Grahame's Laurel Gray in In a Lonely Place, Morton is suspicious of Romano regardless of what Romano said. Did he actually pull the trigger? Or was there some dark urge boiling within him? It's a question that continually surfaces as the movie progresses.
Knock on Any Door is a pretty Ray movie, exploring many themes he would develop in the next decade. Bogart gives an effective performance, as does Derek. The problem with the movie is that the script doesn't generally hold up. If it did, Knock on Any Door would probably be ranked among In a Lonely Place, Rebel Without a Cause and Bigger Than Life. In all honesty, this is for the true Nicholas Ray devotees.
My Rating: ****