Beware if a man in a film noir complains about his humdrum life, as Dick Powell does in Pitfall (1948). He’s destined to have his life stimulated by violence and, possibly, the kiss of a woman who’s not his wife. The said woman is played by Lizabeth Scott, whose boyfriend is in the clink. A nerdy aggressor (Raymond Burr) wishes to take advantage of this imprisonment by running away with lovely Scott, but Powell, the would-be adulterer, remains in the way. . . Whatever Jay Dratler’s novel is like, presumably it was good material for a movie, for a very involving story—solidly directed by Andre de Toth—gets underway. The casting alone is very involving.
Powell and Scott aren’t perfect—indeed, they’re superficial (for more nuance, there’s Jane Wyatt)—but they still fit noir material like a glove. I only wish Pitfall was on DVD: I had to watch it on YouTube.