Re-Watching the Classics: Conflict

Conflict is a classic film noir from director Curtis Bernhardt. The original story is from novelist Alfred Neumann and the great noir director Robert Siodmak. This film maybe cashing in on the success of The Maltese Falcon with the teaming up of Humphrey Bogart and Sydney Greenstreet once again. Then again who cares! I would love to see this duo in 100 movies!

This film revolves around Richard Mason played by Bogart. He is a wealth business man who is married to Kathryn played by Rose Hobart. Greenstreet plays a family friend who is a psychiatrist. Alexis Smith plays Kathryn’s little sister and has caught the eye of Richard. After a party where we get to know the main players Richard, Kathryn and her little sister are involved in a car crash. Richard is hospitalized and now has to use a cane to get around. Richard and Kathryn’s marriage is on the rocks after Kathryn brings up the fact she can tell Richard is in love with her little sister. She decides to go up to the lodge in the woods by herself and Richard stays behind. With Richard using his injury and alibi of staying in the city, he causes Kathryn to drive off the pass in her car falling to her death. With Kathryn out of the picture will Richard win the heart of her little sister? Will anybody ever find Kathryn? Will Richard’s evil plan all come together for him or will it unravel as his web of lies start to fall apart?

This maybe one of the lesser known noir films starring Bogart, but it shouldn’t be. This is an amazing film with Bogart at his dapper best. He is pure evil in this one, but you still root for him. Greenstreet plays the smartest man in the room like no other. The cinematography in this one is well above average for a classic noir with some amazing shots and scenes that look totally original. If you are noir fan or fan of Bogart and/or Greenstreet (and who is not!) you will enjoy this film.

Favorite Tidbit: Way before Easter Eggs was even a thing, this film has two of them, both from earlier in Bogart’s career. In one scene you will see a version of The Maltese Falcon on a filling cabinet and one of the brooches worn by Kathryn is the exact same one worn by Ingrid Bergman in Casablanca.

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