Bradford Galt

Created by Leonard Q. Ross
Pseudonym of Leo Rosten
(1908-97)

“There goes my last lead. I feel all dead inside. I’m backed up in a dark corner, and I don’t know who’s hitting me.”
— Bradford Galt


N
ew York City private detective BRADFORD GALT can’t seem to catch a break in the film noir almost-classic The Dark Corner. After being framed by his partner, he’s sent to prison. Upon being sprung after two years when it becomes obvious he was set up, all he wants to do is start over. Unfortunately, now someone else seems to be setting him up, trying to force him into that “dark corner” all over again.

About the only one who believes him is his loyal, long-suffering secretary Kathleen, played by then-unknown Lucille Ball.

A dark little noir gem, with plenty of twists and turns, well worth hunting down. And Ball’s ballsy, assured performance is a revelation, even better than her TV team-up years later with Mannix. The place it falls down? Mark Stevens’ portrayal of Galt. He’s okay, he delivers his lines well, but he lacks the crackling charisma of a Bogart or Mitchum — or even a Dick Powell — to truly bring this baby all the way home.

Still with a supporting cast of Clifton Webb and William Bendix, and Ball’s firecracker performance, some edgy cinematography and a decent jazz score, this one is one of the better films noir most folks have never heard of.

Under the pen name of Leonard Q. Ross, as well as his own name, Leo Rosten wrote several screenplays (including 1947’s Sleep My Love) and over thirty books, Leo Rosten later created private eye Sid “Silky” Pincus, but is probably best known for such novels as Captain Newman, M.D., The Education of Hyman Kaplan and its sequel, the gloriously-titled Oh Kaplan! My Kaplan!

Meanwhile, Jay Dratler, who co-wrote the screenplay, also wrote the novel Pitfall, which was made into another solid little B flick (and directed by Andre DeToth).

UNDER OATH

  • “… a 1946 film-noir gem directed by Henry Hathaway and starring a feisty Lucille Ball and painfully bland Mark Stevens. The film has art thefts, troubled PIs, and sinister Germans.”
    Josh Lanyon, speaking through one of her characters in The Dark Tide

THE EVIDENCE

  • “I’m as clean as a hard-boiled egg.”
    — Brad protests his innocence
  • “I can be framed easier than “Whistler’s Mother.”
    — Brad faces reality

ORIGINAL STORY

  • “The Dark Corner” (serialized in Good Housekeeping, 1945)

FILMS

  • THE DARK CORNER Buy this video Buy the DVD
    (1946, Twentieth-Century Fox)
    Screenplay by Jay Dratler, Bernard C. Schoenfeld
    Based on the novel by Leo Rosten
    Directed by Henry Hathaway
    Produced by Fred Kohlmar
    Starring Mark Stevens as BRADFORD GALT
    with Lucille Ball as Kathleen Stuart
    Also starring Clifton Webb, William Bendix, Kurt Kreuger, Cathy Downs, Reed Hadley, Constance Collier, Minerva Urecal, Eddie Heywood and His Orchestra

RADIO

  • LUX RADIO THEATRE: THE DARK CORNER
    (November 1947)
    Based on the story “The Dark Corner” by Leonard Q. Ross
    Starring Mark Stevens as BRADFORD GALT
    and Lucille Ball as Kathleen
Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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