At the time of its French release, François Truffaut wrote that Naked Alibi “perfectly corresponds to the need for a drug that any lover of American films irresistibly experiences.” Much of the narcotic allure of this stripped-down, hard-hitting B-noir about a virtuous police officer (Sterling Hayden) heading off-radar to catch a psychotic cop killer (Gene Barry) is due to Grahame’s magnetic performance as the killer’s put-upon bar-singer mistress. As in Crossfire and The Big Heat, Grahame finds surprising, unexpected emotional registers in what could have been a stock role—whenever she appears onscreen, the film seems to rearrange itself around her.