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One Way Street (1950)

 -  Crime | Drama | Film-Noir  -  1 April 1950 (USA)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 106 users  
Reviews: 2 user | 1 critic

After stealing a gangster's money and his girlfriend, a doctor heads for a small village in Mexico.

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Title: One Way Street (1950)

One Way Street (1950) on IMDb 7.3/10

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Dr. Frank Matson
Märta Torén ...
Laura Thorsen
Dan Duryea ...
John Wheeler
Basil Ruysdael ...
Father Moreno
...
Ollie
Rodolfo Acosta ...
Francisco Morales
King Donovan ...
Grieder
Robert Espinoza ...
Santiago
Tito Renaldo ...
Hank Torres
Margarito Luna ...
Antonio Morales
Emma Roldán ...
Catalina
George J. Lewis ...
Capt. Rodriguez (as George Lewis)
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Storyline

After stealing a gangster's money and his girlfriend, a doctor heads for a small village in Mexico.

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Release Date:

1 April 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Death on a Side Street  »

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(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Great beginning, pretty good ending. Too bad about the middle
27 December 2003 | by (Western New York) – See all my reviews

One Way Street opens beautifully. Sirens shriek through the Los Angeles nightscape while, from the window of an apartment building, an elegant woman (Marta Toren) smokes as she watches them disappear. She reports her observations to Dan Duryea, who has just masterminded a big heist. One of his lieutenants (William Conrad), however, has taken a bullet, which gang-sawbones James Mason is summoned to extract. He does so, meanwhile launching a ploy by which he departs not only with all the loot but with Toren – Duryea's moll. Although fate almost deflects their escape, they finally cross the border to Mexico.

And here the movie settles in for a long siesta. Mason and Toren find themselves in a primitive village where Mason's medical skills are pressed into service (he cures a horse but can't save a little girl). There's plenty of warmed-over wisdom issuing from an itinerant priest (Basil Ruysdael) and plenty of danger from bandidos who keep cropping up, swigging mezcal while wiping their lips with the backs of their hands and eying Toren up, down and sideways. Despite these distractions, she seems to like it there and wants to stay, but Mason wants to press on to Mexico City (and their divergent goals and low-key temperaments serve to keep the romance distinctly cool).

This snooze is interrupted a couple of times by cuts back to Los Angeles, where Duryea and Conrad are bent on recouping the money – and on revenge. But only when Mason returns to have a face-to-face reckoning with Duryea does the movie spring back to life. And in a rhyme of its earlier, unexpected intervention, fate proves that it always has the last word.

One Way Street was the first feature in English by the Argentinian-born director Hugo Fregonese, who stayed in Hollywood long enough to churn out a few westerns and genre-pictures (Man In The Attic, one of the many versions of The Lodger was his work). From the bookends that open and close One Way Street, he had a feel for the look and pace of film noir, but the thick volume of Mexican folklore they surround turns out to be a not very film-worthy property.


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