Apenas un delincuente (Hardly a Criminal). 1949. Argentina. Directed by Hugo Fregonese. In Spanish; English subtitles. 88 min.
Screenplay by Raimundo Calcagno, Israel Chas de Cruz, Tulio Demicheli, José Ramón Luna, based on a story by Hugo Fregonese. With Jorge Salcedo, Sebastián Chiola, Tito Alonso, Linda Lorena, Josefa Goldar. The best Argentine film noir of the 1940s, an audacious blending of Naked City and Brute Force, tells the tale of a clever banking clerk (Jorge Salcedo, in a charismatic performance) who embezzles money from his employer and tries to get caught, since a loophole in the Argentine justice system will free him after six years behind bars. Part caper, part prison picture, this acclaimed drama earned Argentine director Hugo Fregonese a career in Hollywood, although it’s doubtful he ever topped the style and sophistication displayed here. Cinematographer Roque Giaccovino crosses noir chiaroscuro with semi-documentary Neorealist techniques to present an evocative vision of midcentury Buenos Aires, the Paris of the southern hemisphere. Presented in a newly struck 35mm print, subtitled with a fresh English translation, from the Film Noir Foundation Collection at UCLA Film & Television Archive