Helen Brent knows Sam Wild is more than a social climber who married her wealthy foster sister. He’s a remorseless killer. And yet she finds his brash confidence, square-shouldered good looks and constant aura of menace completely irresistible. Versatile director Robert Wise (The Day the Earth Stood Still, The Sound of Music, West Side Story) shows his film-noir chops with this dark gem, whose mix of heiress sisters, stone-hearted men, needy hangers-on and inexplicable but inevitable love plays like a soap opera that refuses to wash itself clean. Walter Slezak portrays the verse-quoting shamus. And Claire Trevor and Lawrence Tierney portray the illicit lovers who play with fire and burn their names forever into film-noir lore.