Small-time gambler flees town and hooks up with his ex-wife (Virginia) to avoid arrest for murder. Protecting Virginia from a masher, he accidentally kills the man, then tries to make it ... See full summary »
Small-time gambler flees town and hooks up with his ex-wife (Virginia) to avoid arrest for murder. Protecting Virginia from a masher, he accidentally kills the man, then tries to make it look like an accident. When police detect the crime and come after him, he goes on the run again, but this time with his wife as a hostage. Written by
Mike Rogers <MICHAEL_PEM@aol.com>
Gambler-fugitive seeks refuge with ex-wife, even as police close in.
Except for the cleverly staged finalea giant crane on the LA loading docksit's a pretty pedestrian crime story. Despite the poor ratings from the professionals, I tuned in because of the cast. Clark makes an excellent tough-guy-with-soul as in Deep Valley (1947) and Moonrise (1948), while O'Donnell is enough to make a grown man cry in the transcendent They Live by Night (1948). What this film crucially lacks, however, is mood. It's filmed in straightforward unimaginative style, much like a TV episode. As a result, there's no complementary atmosphere to frame the twosome's particular talents, thereby largely wasting them. Too bad, because the film would likely do just as well with any number of lesser talents in the leads.
It doesn't help that the screenplay is unexceptional with few surprises, except maybe for the randy cop (Williams). Still, you wonder how such a crude guy could possibly stay on the force, let alone as a sergeant. It's also a cheaply produced programmer with two or three basic sets. At least, Columbia knew something more was needed, hence the scenic finale. All in all, the movie's a routine programmer, at best.
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