This adaptation of writer/director-to-be Richard Brooks’s novel The Brick Foxhole, about a group of vets, led by Robert Mitchum’s Sergeant Keeley, searching postwar Washington for their amnesiac friend (George Cooper) so they can clear him of a murder charge, embodies the essence of what has come to be known as “film noir”—moody, troubled characters; nocturnal action; chiaroscuro cinematography; low-key acting spiced with bits of bravura eccentricity; and a plot so crazy that it feels like a nightmare. If Robert Ryan’s unhinged southern bigot, Gloria Grahame’s thoroughly disenchanted cocktail hostess, and Paul Kelly as her ex-(or maybe not) husband get to play the acting solos, Mitchum does a beautiful job on rhythm.