Marja is a prostitute who has to run away, when her pimp Jussi robs and kills one of her costumers. She finds a hiding place in a mansion on the country side. Marja falls in love with the master of the mansion, but Jussi finds out Marjas whereabouts and comes to meet her.
Director Ronald af Hällström’s first film for Fenno-Filmi is a powerful melodrama set in the world of crime and prostitution, much in the vein of Teuvo Tulio’s 1944 film The Way You Wanted Me (where af Hällström worked as an assistant director), but more grounded in reality and showing a more sophisticated use of the influences of early film noir and French poetic realism. A box office success in France in the early 1950s (where it was titled L’Entôleuse), The Callbird has since then been overshadowed by Tulio’s 1940s melodramas and af Hällström’s later films like The Witch. As a more pure-bred example of Finnish noir than Tulio’s strange mixtures of melodrama, film noir and thriller, af Hällström’s most important contribution to this genre is a film ripe for rediscovery.
Director: Roland af Hällström. AKA The Callbird.
Writer: Roland af Hällström (as Viljo Hela).
Stars: Laila Jokimo, Eino Kaipainen, Eero Leväluoma, Maire Hyvönen, Joel Asikainen, Irja Rannikko, Kalle Viherpuu, Kerttu Salmi.
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