RKO’s 1951 The Company She Keeps probably doesn’t belong at the top of any of the key players’ resumes. Still, it was directed by James Cromwell, who helmed one of my favorite postwar film noir classics, Dead Reckoning (1947), with Humphrey Bogart and Lizabeth Scott. And Scott stars here, alongside fellow film noir icon, Jane Greer.
Greer plays a check forger just released from prison, while Scott is her helpful parole officer. Generosity is repaid when Greer steals Scott’s boyfriend, which could be a nifty setup for a nasty revenge tale. Instead, there’s some business with a workplace theft frame job and things working out just fine (more or less) in the end. A deep, dark or hard-boiled film noir this isn’t. A well-done crime melodrama led by two of noir’s best actresses? Oh, it’s that, all right.
But, it is an opportunity to watch two of film noir’s best-known actors paired together on screen. Lizabeth Scott is credited with starring in more postwar films noir than any other actress. And if Jane Greer’s iconic femme fatale performance in Jacques Tourner’s 1947 Out Of The Past was the only entry on her resume, it’d still be impressive. So, look for this one for the two stars, if not for the story.
A side-note: Brothers Jeff and Beau Bridges (sons of actor Lloyd Bridges, who appeared in a noir-ish B-movie or two himself) appear in the film as an infant and toddler.