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This Side of the Law (1950)

Approved | | Drama, Film-Noir, Mystery | 17 June 1950 (USA)
David Cummings, a vagrant, is bailed out of jail by Philip Cagle, an attorney, who hires him to impersonate a missing millionaire, whose presence is necessary in order to distribute a ... See full summary »

Director:

(as Richard Bare)

Writers:

(story), (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview:
...
...
David Cummins
...
Nadine Taylor
Robert Douglas ...
Philip Cagle
...
Calder Taylor
...
The Sheriff
Frances Morris ...
Miss Roberts
...
Miss Goff
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Storyline

David Cummings, a vagrant, is bailed out of jail by Philip Cagle, an attorney, who hires him to impersonate a missing millionaire, whose presence is necessary in order to distribute a $3,000,000 estate. Cummings' masquerade involves fooling the missing man's wife, his brother and the brother's wife. Cagle, desiring to be rid of Cummings, sets actions in play which ends in murder, attempted murder and the entombment of Cummings. Can he dig his way out and set things right? Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

17 June 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Deadlock  »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Trivia

Completed in 1948, but not released until 1950. See more »

Goofs

At the bottom of the cliff, the sheriff's dialogue clearly does not match his mouth. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Solid Little Noir
21 March 2012 | by (Claremont,USA) – See all my reviews

A vagrant is bribed into impersonating a millionaire as part of an inheritance scheme. The trouble is he gets more than he bargained for.

I'm not sure why this little noir-- and it is a noir (hand of fate, a web of intrigue, a spider woman, & dark atmosphere)-- remains so obscure. This Warner Bros. entry may not be top-flight, but it is respectable. That opening scene with the pin-light on Cummins' (Smith) ravaged face is a grabber. Several other moody scenes emerge along the way, plus a neat plot twist, that makes this thriller an entertaining 70-minutes.

I'm guessing one reason for the film's obscurity is the cast, especially the lead, Kent Smith. He performs well enough. The trouble is he lacks screen presence, almost fading into the background at times. On the other hand, Lindfors and Paige split the women's time, such that neither is able to establish much presence of her own. John Alvin, however, comes across vividly in the thankless role of the weakling brother. Also, I'm surprised director Bare manages the dark material as well as he does, given that his previous career was exclusively with comedy shorts. (Note, for example, how Cummins has to work at getting a name off the ID bracelet—a good realistic touch.)

Nothing memorable here, just a solid little noir.


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