Born to Kill ★★★½

A very good character-driven noir with some of the most amoral characters in the genre.

Claire Trevor never disappoints, especially playing a bad woman. Here she's a woman adopted into a wealthy family as a child and preoccupied with remaining wealthy - by keeping close to her heiress sister and getting engaged to a man from San Francisco's elite. But then she meets and falls in love/lust with Laurence Tierney while getting divorced in Reno,. He is equally amoral and a sociopathic murderer on the run for a double homicide. After following Trevor to SF, he then married the heiress sister, and things get more and more complicated.

The film moves at a brisk clip and there's a few unbelievable elements, especially why the sister would fall for Tierney (who's seems evil as hell and from a lower social strata). But it somehow works. There are some excellent character actors in supporting roles - Elisha Cook as Tierney's buddy, Walter Slezak as a corrupt private detective and especially Esther Howard as a rambunctious alcoholic landlady determined to track down the man who killed her friend.

Finally, be on the lookout for a number of actors playing minor or even bit parts - Tommy Noonan, Martha Hyer, Jason Robards Sr., Ellen Corby and Kathryn Cord (Lucy's mother Mrs. McGillicuddy from the old "I Love Lucy sitcom) playing the sisters' maid.

I had seen this years ago, but liked it much better this time than before. Seen on TCM streaming.