The first striking feature of Crime Wave, an excellent, low-budget 1954 release from Warner Brothers, is the sound. For a Film Noir, a type of film typically identified by its visual designs, this may seem unusual, but in many cases the aural attributes of these movies added an extra ingredient of formal quality and interest. This is what we have here. Crime Wave has all of the imagery one associates with Film Noir – the high contrast lighting, dark shadows, canted angles, etc. – but the sound is something unique. Many scenes are void of a complementary score or background music. Instead, we're presented sequences as if we were there, or at the very least as if the direct recording has simply been taken and immediately played back without any sort of technical manipulation. It gives the film an almost hollow quality, like we're in these unadorned rooms and offices, with no amplification, resulting in a bare, simple and extremely realistic atmosphere.