Low-budget, tabloid-lurid story with high camp value of older man falling for much younger beauty who's busy figuring out how she can kill him now that they're married. Nasty verbal ... See full summary »
Shortly after a bank robbery, gangster John Wheeler and his henchmen hide in a small apartment, awaiting for the rest of the gang to arrive.Also in the apartment are Wheeler's girlfriend, Laura and the gang's surgeon, Dr. Frank Matson. Wheeler asks Dr.Matson for a few headache pills.After taking the medication, Wheeler is shocked to find out that he has been poisoned by the doctor and he will die in 48 hours unless he receives the antidote from Dr. Matson. Matson takes the bag containing the bank loot and also asks Laura to join him in escaping the gang. The doctor tells Wheeler that he will give him instructions via a phone call to help Wheeler find the antidote once the doctor will safely be far away with the bank loot and the girl.Wheeler has no choice and allows Dr.Matson and Laura to leave the apartment with the bank loot.However,their getaway is fraught with unforeseen dangers, including a vengeful Wheeler who is determined to recuperate his bank loot and his girl and kill ... Written by
In the Citadel Film series book on The Films Of James Mason, Mason himself said that he was never told by viewers that they saw this film or was ever questioned about it. I guess that One Way Street might be overlooked in the big budget films that would shortly follow in his career. That's a pity because this one is a good, but fatalistic noir film, something along the lines of Odd Man Out.
In One Way Street Mason is a doctor whose practice is on the wrong side of the law, patching up criminals and not reporting about it. We're never told brought him to this because no one starts this way in the field of medicine.
While on a house call to Dan Duryea's mob after they've pulled a heist, Duryea rides Mason once too often and through a rather ingenious bluff he winds up stealing the loot from a robbery the gang just pulled off. Not only that, he winds up stealing Marta Toren away from Duryea so Dan has two reasons for going after him.
Mason and Toren have to land in a remote village in Mexico when the plane they've chartered develops engine trouble. Even a defrocked doctor is welcome among these people where Mason and Toren settle and start to enjoy life a little, but life and the past do catch up.
Duryea's henchmen include William Conrad, King Donovan, and Jack Elam who are as scurvy a lot as you'll find. Basil Ruysdael who is always an authority figure of some kind is fine as the local priest at the village where Mason and Toren are staying. Look fast or you'll miss Rock Hudson in a bit role as a truckdriver with one line in the film.
Marta Toren who hoped to succeed both Greta Garbo and Ingrid Bergman as a cinema sensation from Sweden died tragically young. She never broke into A pictures in America, but she was for me one of the most beautiful women the big screen ever saw.
If your genre is noir you cannot go wrong with One Way Street.
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