ⓘ Street of Chance (1942 film)


ⓘ Street of Chance (1942 film)

Street of Chance is a 1942 film noir directed by Jack Hively and starring Burgess Meredith as a man who finds hes been suffering from amnesia and Claire Trevor as a woman who protects him from the police, who suspect him of murder.

The story was based on Cornell Woolrichs novel The Black Curtain. It was later dramatized three times on the CBS Radio series Suspense.


1. Plot

Frank Thompson awakens in the middle of the street after wreckage falling from a building in New York City hits him on the head. Frank soon discovers that his apartment has been rented out for a year and his wife Virginia has been living on her own elsewhere.

Frank confronts Virginia, who is shocked to see the husband who disappeared without explanation a year earlier. As Frank slowly pieces together his old life, it turns out he is running from a murder he cannot remember committing, and Joe Marucci, a detective, is shadowing his every move.

Ruth Dillon introduces herself and takes Frank to the mansion of the wealthy Diedrich family, where she has been employed as a servant. Family matriarch Grandma Diedrich was an eyewitness to the murder of son Harry, but she is a housebound invalid who also is mute. Through sign language, Harry learns from her that Ruth is the killer, Harry having caught her stealing. Harrys life is in danger as well until Marucci arrives and catches the culprit.


2. Cast

  • Jerome Cowan as Bill Diedrich
  • Burgess Meredith as Frank Thompson
  • Adeline De Walt Reynolds as Grandma Diedrich
  • Louise Platt as Virginia Thompson
  • Paul Phillips as Schoeder
  • Arthur Loft as Sheriff Lew Stebbins
  • Keith Richards as Intern
  • Frieda Inescort as Alma Diedrich
  • Ann Doran as Miss Peabody
  • Claire Trevor as Ruth Dillon
  • Cliff Clark as Ryan, Policeman
  • Clancy Cooper as Burke
  • Sheldon Leonard as Joe Marucci
  • Edwin Maxwell as Stillwell, D.A.

3. Reception

Film critic Dennis Schwartz liked the film and wrote, "Jack Hively efficiently directs an early film noir that establishes a number of conventions that helped define noir. Though the murderer was too obvious by the halfway point, the film still had many disturbing moments that kept me interested."