Shockproof

Shockproof ★★★

Reviewed as part of Indicator Series' Samuel Fuller at Columbia: 1937-61 box set at The Geek Show.

Perhaps only Samuel Fuller could write a lovers-on-the-run story where the male lead has ambitions to go into politics. Is there any other example of this in the subgenre's history? I suppose you could make an argument for The Living End...

Having Douglas Sirk direct this one is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, his famous empathy for his female characters makes Patricia Knight's Jenny Marsh a truly refreshing noir heroine; she isn't a seductress, or a lunatic, she's just a relatable person who's committed a crime, like the men are allowed to be. (Nice detail: she has to cross out "him" and write in "her" on her parole document) On the other hand, the ending is a total cop-out. But this is a film from the director of All That Heaven Allows, co-written by the writer of National Velvet and the director of The Big Red One. With a clash of sensibilities like that, it's amazing that it holds together for that long.

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