I am responsible for everything … except for my very responsibility, for I am not the foundation of my being. Therefore everything takes place as if I were compelled to be responsible. I am abandoned in the world … in the sense that I find myself suddenly alone and without help, engaged in a world for which I bear the whole responsibility without being able, whatever I do, to tear myself away from this responsibility for an instant.
– Jean Paul Sartre, ‘Being and Nothingness’ (1943) [my emphases]
Debbie Marsh is an existential hero, as are the other major femmes in Fritz Lang’s brooding noir, The Big Heat (1953), the murdered barfly and the caryard clerk, who each take responsbility and act.