A convict being escorted in for retrial escapes at Grand Central and threatens his old girlfriend on the phone. She flees for her new beau's private railcar at the same station. When she is then found murdered the cops round up a motley group of suspects including the escapee, several guys feeling sore at the way the gold-digging broad had treated them, some jealous dames, and a private eye already on the case. Inspector Gunther soon has a problem - enough evidence to fry all of them. Written by
Jeremy Perkins <email@example.com>
This film received its USA television premiere in Los Angeles Monday 5 November 1956 on KTTV (Channel 2), followed by New York City Friday 14 December 1956 on WCBS (Channel 2) and by Philadelphia Sunday 24 March 1957 on WFIL (Channel 6); in San Francisco its initial telecast took pace 2 January 1958 on KGO (Channel 7). See more »
Not bad. Handsomely filmed and directed with some skill and style by S. Sylvan Simon. Still, it's a cold picture. The mystery is fairly intricate but there's probably two or three too many suspects, and all of them are thinly drawn. As the "plot thickens" you find yourself not caring all that much because the movie is so anchorless. The dilemmas aren't sharply enough drawn. It's all plot and posturing, precious little character development.
Acting honors go to Van Heflin, as the wiseacre private detective/suspect who has a hard time keeping his smart mouth shut. Heflin's free, relaxed, supremely confident technique is in stark contrast to the more formal (some might say "stiff") acting of most of his co-stars (specifically expressionless Tom Conway). Dishonors go to Sam Levene as the ill-tempered homicide cop assigned to the case. I believe he was a highly respected actor in his day, though mostly for his stage work, but in practically every screen performance I've seen, he seems uncomfortable. He's "acting" not "being." He appears to be on unfriendly terms with the camera, always aware of it.
Those who enjoy whodunits may find its flaws forgivable.
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