The Subversive Truth of Noir: The Glass Wall (1953)

I was fed-up I guess

In the still-topical and very off-beat noir, The Glass Wall (1953), about post-war refugees and the nature of true compassion, Gloria Grahame gives a richly delicate performance as a young woman on the skids who helps a desperate asylum-seeker played with obvious sincerity by Vittorio Gassman.  The streets of New York are rendered with a stunning chiaroscuro palette by DP Joseph Biroc. While the direction by Maxwell Shane could have been tighter, he also had a hand in the excellent script.  A gem worth seeking out.

4 thoughts on “The Subversive Truth of Noir: The Glass Wall (1953)”

  1. I love Gloria Grahame.
    I respect Vittorio Gassman.
    Joseph Biroc’s chiaroscuro palette is most appealing.
    The NYC locations will always fascinate a native.

    Hence, THE GLASS WALL is most desirable.


  2. Sam, there is so much in this movie that would appeal to a native. The streets scenes were, according to the trailer, filmed live with “hidden cameras”. I don’t know about hidden, but there are scenes where some passers-by are clearly aware that ‘something’ is going on.


  3. I’ll pick up THE GLASS WALL (which I’d never even heard of) tomorrow.
    Your inclusion of Gloria Grahame in the film clip reminds those of us with wavering focus on film noir how well she could exude a rare abyss while attending to pitfalls.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: