Noirvember Review: The Great Flamarion (1945)

by Amanda Garrett over at Old Hollywood Films

The Great Flamarion (1945), about a troubled sharpshooter (Erich von Stroheim, pictured above with costar Mary Beth Hughes) who becomes infatuated with a young dancer, is a superb early noir from legendary director Anthony Mann.

The Great Flamarion begins with shots ringing out during a vaudeville performance in a Mexican theater. After a few moments of chaos, the body of a performer (Hughes) is found lying next to her drunken husband (Stephen Barclay). The police initially believe the man killed his wife until one of the performers finds a  man (von Stroheim) dying from a gunshot wound who confesses to the crime and unravels a strange tale of lust, deceit, and revenge.

The Great Flamarion was one of  two low-budget noirs -- the other is Strange Impersonation (1946) -- that Mann made for Republic Pictures and producer W. Lee Wilder, who was the older brother of famed writer/director Billy Wilder. In fact, astute viewers will notice striking similarities between The Great Flamarion and Billy's classic noir, Double Indemnity (1944): Both films have a flashback structure that is built around the narration of a dying character and both films have a plot about a desperate femme fatale who uses the protagonist to murder her loutish husband.

To read the rest of Amanda Garrett's review, head on over to her blog by clicking here. The Great Flamarion is available to watch now on The Film Detective app!


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