In flashback from a 'Rebecca'-style beginning: Ellen Foster, visiting her aunt on the California coast, meets neighbor Jeff Cohalan and his ultramodern clifftop house. Ellen is strongly ... See full summary »
Motor mechanic Dan Brady lacks funds for a heavy date with new waitress Vera, the type whose life's ambition is a fur coat; so he embezzles twenty dollars from his employer. To make up the shortage, he goes in debt for a hundred. Thereafter, every means he tries to get out of trouble only gets him deeper into crime, while everyone he meets is out for what they can get. Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
A Cross Between "Detour" and "The Myth of Sysiphus"
We feel as if we are sinking into the quicksand as one thing after another goes wrong. This is similar to the bleak and (today) more famous "Detour." But it's almost as good.
Mickey Rooney has always been an appealing performer. He's good here but not totally plausible. If Tom Neal had been the star, It'd be a real jewel.
Jeanne Cagney is surprisingly tough as the girl Rooney falls for. It's very easy to hate her character, which is the intent of the plot. Barbara Bates is not interesting as the girl who's loved him all along. When I was a small child I saw her giggling and doing what I remember as an early version of "breaking up" as she announced prizes for contestants on "Queen for a Day." Quite some range, just like her brother! Without giving away any of the plot, just know that no matter where the protagonist turns, he gets a (usually figurative) slap in the face. He sinks deeper and deeper and nothing he does seems to lift him out of the mire.
(It also has great location shots and is a superb look at honky-tonk in the middle of the last century.)
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