Man in the Dark, The (1953): Film Noir in 3-D, Starring Edmond O’Brien and Audrey Totter

Lew Landers directed this B-level film noir, which, among other things, offered characters actors Edmond O’Brien and Audrey Totter, the opportunity to play lead roles.

A remake of the 1936 film The Man Who Lived Twice, which starred Ralph Bellamy, Man in the Dark was the first Columbia movie to be released in 3-D.

Steve Rawley is serving a 10-year prison sentence after a factory robbery of $130,000.  However, he is offered parole if he participates in experimental procedure by Dr. Marsden, a brain surgeon.

Steve is released, but the operation leaves him with amnesia.  Taking another name, he now believes that he had lost his memory in car crash.

Meanwhile, Jawald, an insurance investigator trying to find the missing money, is convinced that Steve is lying.

Lefty, Arnie and Cookie, members of his old gang, kidnap Steve, demanding to know where the loot is. Steve claims not to know or recognize any of them or Peg, his girlfriend.

Convinced that Steve has amnesia, Peg flees with him to an amusement park, a place that Steve keeps seeing in his dreams.  He finds a box containing the money. Atop a roller coaster, he fights Lefty, who falls to his death, and Arnie is shot by police.

Most of the film is set in the recreational park, with roller coasters, a location that increases the tension involved in the chase.

In the unconvincing happy resolution, Steve hands over the money and embraces Peg, ready to begin a normal life.


I am grateful to TCM, which showed Man in the Dark on a day (August 6, 2018), paying tribute to the actress Audrey Totter.