No, it's not a Jennifer Aniston movie:


This one is quite familiar to Forties film fans, and I don't need to go into much. The story's famous: guy is poisoned on a business trip, spends his last few hours tracking down his killer. This involves running through some wonderful locales in old San Francisco:



On the internet I learned they played a commercial for the diamond store in the opening moments of the movie "Zodiac." Apparently they advertised a lot: the diamond store with a heart! Other scenes, thanks to the beat-to-hell print, are more dreamlike; can't tell where this might have been.



Edmund O'Brien gives his best performance ever here, it's a role Hitch would have given to Cary Grant, who wouldn't have been half as good. O'Brien is sweaty and desperate, and not in a mood to make friends. The smaller roles are fine, too, including a grinning sadistic killer who tracks our hero to a drug store. He's not wearing clothes, either:



Well, no. I just like the picture. The druggist is selling big bottles of liquor, you'll note - they could do that then. Nowadays, no. We can't sell alcohol here! This is a drug store!

Blade-Runner-fan alert: the last scene takes place here.



Yes, the Bradbury building.

There's only one stupid moment in the movie, really - when our hero checks into the town, he's tempted by comely women. How do we know he finds them alluring?

The soundtrack is there to help. (video clip; mouse over for controls.) For a grim, gripping movie, it's a rather remarkable touch. You suspect the producer got the idea, and insisted on it.