Sunday Matinee: 99 River Street

sunday-matineeThere are many cool film noir movies that most people probably have never heard of. Take today’s Sunday Matinee for example 1953’s 99 River Street.

John Payne is a washed up boxer who drives a cab now. He has a temper and is jealous of his wife. His wife Peggie Castle is having an affair with a crook played by Brad Dexter who has stolen some diamonds and murdered the diamonds owner but can’t get rid of them because of Castle and murder. Worse Payne discovers his wife’s infidelity so Dexter murders Castle and frames Payne.

Payne’s only friends are his dispatcher and an actress (Evelyn Keyes) who is in love with Payne. Payne is forced to punch his way to clearing his name and bringing his wife’s murderer to justice.

The movie is excellent. It’s dark, surprisingly brutal and tense. Payne is likable as the ex-boxer cabbie out to clear his name and director Phil Karlson was excellent at crafting dark crime thrillers.

Author: Shane Hnetka

Shane Hnetka spends most of his life watching movies and reading comic books, using his vast knowledge of genre culture for evil instead of good.