The Big Clock (1948)

the big clock 1948

Good one highlighted by good acting from all concerned. A magazine editor is being framed for murder by his boss who doesn’t realize who he’s trying to frame. Based on the novel by Kenneth Fearing with a screen play by mystery writer Johnathan Latimer.

The movie starts with crime magazine editor George Stroud (Ray Milland) hiding inside the huge world clock in the lobby of the office building where he works. It goes into flashback mode to tell how he got there.

George is determined to finally take his wife Georgette (Maureen O’Sullivan) on a honeymoon after seven years. Their five year old son will go with them. They plan to spend some time back home in Wheeling,West Virginia where George used to work on a newspaper before getting an offer from Earl Janoth (Charles Laughton) to work for him in New York.

George has a habit of working out strategies for finding people before the police can and that’s made his magazine a top seller to the delight of Janoth the publisher. Janoth has another assignment for him but George is determined to take his wife out of town and finally quits in frustration.

He stops in a bar to work out his frustrations and Janoth’s girl friend Pauline comes in. Shortly Georgette arrives. They go to their reserved table and he gives her the train tickets. She was a bit suspicious of Pauline but believes George that the meeting wasn’t planned. He says he has a few things to wrap up and he’ll meet her at the train.

Georgette leaves and Pauline waylays George causing him to miss the train. He and Pauline do the town and end up in a favorite bar of George’s. One of his friends, radio actor McKinley (Lloyd Corrigan) comes in. He’s a character and uses a lot of different names based on the roles he’s played.

Bar owner Bert says he can find anything and George asks for a green clock. Bert gives him a sundial with a green ribbon. They stop in an antique shop and George sees a painting by his favorite artist Louise Patterson (Elsa Lanchester). He outbids a woman in the shop for the painting. He doesn’t know it’s Louise.

He takes Pauline home and leaves the sundial. He almost leaves the picture in his haste to leave because Janoth is on his way over. He just makes it and sees Janoth get off the elevator. He’s in shadow so Janoth doesn’t know who it is. He tells Pauline he’s tired of her fooling around and wants to know who her latest is that he saw outside. She says his name is Jefferson Randolph. That’s one of the names McKinley used in the bar. Things get heated and he kills her with the sundial. He calls loyal editor Steve Hagen (George MacReady) for help.

Steve comes over and cleans up the scene. He turns a clock back and takes George’s liquor soaked handkerchief from Pauline purse and takes the sundial back to Bert’s bar. George flies to Wheeling to join his wife and son. That doesn’t last long as he gets a call from Janoth to find a man named Jefferson Randolph for Pauline’s murder. George is compelled to go back to protect his friend.

George gets his team together and goes through the motions. They’re a good group and are tracking down events that could lead right to him.

Now the movie is back to the present and the suspense is heightened and it makes for one that shouldn’t be missed.


About vintage45

I'm a big fan of vintage books,movies,TV shows and music. I encourage everyone to patronize your local used book/record store and pick up some of the good stuff. My posts are capsule reviews of some favorites that you may want to investigate. The albums posted aren't really reviews but items from my collection that are still available. I try and point out highlights of each one and let the music speak for itself. Thanks to all for checking out the blog.
This entry was posted in Crime-Mystery-Spy, vintage movies and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The Big Clock (1948)

  1. dfordoom says:

    A great little movie.

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