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No.5 Checked Out

USA, 1955 (MIFF 1996, Ida Lupino - Director)

Director: Ida Lupino

In and of itself, No. 5 Checked Out constitutes a compelling case for the viability of the short form in film. Brilliantly acted, superbly crafted, it comes damn close to perfection-a state Lupino's films, deliberately sloshing through the messy physical and sociological ambiguities, rarely strove for. Although her TV work often displayed the kind of formal rigor and virtuosity on display here, rarely was it distilled in so finely tuned a genre vehicle. Peter Lorre's villainous gangster is a delight, to be sure, but in Teresa Wright's lucid vulnerability, Lupino found an artist with a palette to match her own. Against an idyllic lakefront backdrop reminiscent of High Sierra, Deep Valley and The Outrage, Lupino orchestrates a complex interrelation between sound and image in this tale of a deaf girl and what she can and cannot see. (RS)

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