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Roadblock (1951)

6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 399 users  
Reviews: 18 user | 15 critic

An L.A. insurance detective starts to get involved with a girl he is increasingly attracted to, even though he sees her as a chiseller. She makes it clear that her tastes are too expensive ... See full summary »

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(screenplay), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Title: Roadblock (1951)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Joe Peters
Joan Dixon ...
Diane
Lowell Gilmore ...
Kendall Webb
Louis Jean Heydt ...
Harry Miller
...
Egan
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Storyline

An L.A. insurance detective starts to get involved with a girl he is increasingly attracted to, even though he sees her as a chiseller. She makes it clear that her tastes are too expensive for him, so he sets about getting a lot of money quickly if illegally. Perhaps too late, she starts to find that she is content with him just the way he is. Written by Jeremy Perkins <jwp@aber.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Hot Lead and Cold Cash Outside the Law

Genres:

Crime | Film-Noir | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

17 September 1951 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Detektiven der myrdede  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Goofs

Miller tells Joe Peters he revealed himself as being associated with the robbery because Peters had said five men (plus the pilot) were involved at a time when that information was not known to the insurance company. Yet, immediately after-wards Egan is cross-examining the pilot and mentioned the five men as though it was a fact, before the pilot actually admitted it. See more »

Quotes

Diane: Someday you're going to want something nice and expensive that you can't afford on a detective's salary.
Joe Peters: Like what?
Diane: Like me.
See more »

Connections

Edited from High Sierra (1941) See more »

Soundtracks

So Swell of You
by Leona Davidson
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User Reviews

 
Gruff Charles McGraw stars in swift, satisfying noir
27 May 2002 | by (Western New York) – See all my reviews

Drop a laurel wreath on Charles McGraw's huge, sculptural head – you can almost see it in the Greco-Roman wing of a museum, perched atop a pedestal. He was one of the noir cycle's most serviceable pieces of furniture, along with Raymond Burr and Elisha Cook, Jr. Most often he lurked in the murky background, but sometimes, most memorably in The Narrow Margin, he stayed front and center. He also shuttled uncomplainingly between the underworld and the keepers of law and order. Starring in Roadblock, he tries to straddle both worlds.

This no-frills noir opens with a tease: McGraw stages a murder, then abducts a witness whom he manipulates into buying his way out of certain death with the loot from a bank job. But the movie is setting up McGraw as a straight-arrow insurance investigator who'll stop at nothing to achieve his goal.

Until he crosses paths with Joan Dixon, that is. A crafty gold-digger, she finds him sweet but `honest;' she's saving her sexual artillery for more affluent game, which she finds in a smooth racketeer (Lowell Gilmore). But McGraw can't get her out of his blood and, knowing that furs and jewels are the path to her mercenary heart, strikes up a deal with the mobster. He offers him a million-and-a-quarter, insured by his company, which he knows will be traveling by train; if Gilmore pulls the job off, McGraw will settle for $400 grand.

The irony – and the script's least convincing turn – is that Dixon falls for McGraw anyway and renounces her grasping ways. (Not only does this ring false, it also makes her far less arresting a character.) Despite second thoughts, McGraw gets his share of the take. Then, naturally, he's assigned to the team of investigators trying to crack the case....

Harold Daniels, who had a brief and largely undistinguished career as both actor and director, keeps the action swift and simple – it races down an hour-plus of highway until it reaches its titular roadblock. The movie goes down as easily and satisfyingly as a hot dog and a beer.


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