The Argyle Secrets

A remarkable noir effort by the neglected but formidable writer-director Cyril Endfield (Try and Get Me!, Zulu), shot on a B-minus budget in six days and running just over an hour, crams so much hallucinatory plot into one 24-hour period that the results have some of the hysteria as well as the dreamy drift of subsequent apocalyptic thrillers like Kiss Me Deadly. William Gargan plays a reporter who goes chasing after an album with an argyle cover that implicates Americans who collaborated with Nazis during the war, and all sorts of gruff types go chasing after him as a result. Most impressive here, apart from Endfield’s signature pessimism about human weaknesses, are the ingenious visual and temporal strategies used to condense the narrative materialeverything from a dripping faucet to signify the death of one character to the parsimonious use of voice-over imagery. (JR)

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