No happy endings.
Winning a dispute with writer Graham Greene, director Carol Reed opted for a beautiful bummer of a fade-out, rather than an out-of-place romantic win, perfectly capping a great feel-bad film.
This is a movie of smothering shadows, haunting music, dark betrayals and desperate men doing devious deeds — while being perfectly-lit as they skulk through dank sewers.
Orson Welles, the biggest name in the cast, is a black market profiteer, stealing penicillin, then diluting it before resale, resulting in injury and death.
But then again, “The dead are happier dead.”
A perfect sentiment for Film Noir Land.