7.3/10
486
20 user 18 critic

The Well (1951)

A small, racially mixed American town succumbs to violence and utter mayhem after a white man, who is suspected of kidnapping a missing black girl, is released by the white authority.

Directors:

(as Leo Popkin),

Writers:

(written for the screen by), (written for the screen by)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gwendolyn Laster ...
Carolyn
Richard Rober ...
Ben Kellog
...
Mrs. Crawford
George Hamilton ...
Grandfather
Ernest Anderson ...
Mr. Crawford
...
Mickey
...
Stan
Pat Mitchell ...
Peter
Margaret Wells ...
Schoolteacher
Wheaton Chambers ...
Woody
Michael Ross ...
Frank
Russell Trent ...
Chet
Allen Mathews ...
Hal
John Philips ...
Fred
Walter Morrison ...
Art
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Storyline

In a racially mixed American town, a 5-year-old black girl falls unnoticed into a hidden, forgotten well on her way to school. Having nothing better to go on, the police follow up a report that the child was seen with a white stranger, and rumors run wild. Before hapless, innocent Claude Packard is even found, popular hysteria has him tried and convicted. But Packard's troubles pale by comparison as ever more inflated rumors uncap the well of racial tensions and mob violence. And young Carolyn Crawford, forgotten by most, is still missing... Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

I have a wife and two kids ... a thing like this can ruin me !


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

10 September 1951 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El pozo  »

Box Office

Budget:

$450,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

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

The gang who was chasing the young man down the street are closer to the car before the scene change of the car driving off. See more »

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User Reviews

"WELL" done B movie
22 May 2003 | by (fabulous Las Vega$!) – See all my reviews

A perennial late-night TV favorite during the 60s and 70s, THE WELL is a tense, sharply directed B programmer which denotes the gradual escalation of a racial conflict within a rural U.S. community, ignited by the suspicious disappearance of a little black girl. In truth, she had fallen into a deep forgotten well, trapped yet alive. The film's concluding moments focus on the girl's rescue mission, an enormous undertaking which draws the entire town to spectate. These scenes crackle with edge-of-your-seat intensity, and are surprisingly well realized for a modest production such as this. Presumably, the key inspiration for this project was the heartbreaking Kathy Fiscus tragedy which occurred two years earlier, becoming a watershed moment in television broadcasting.

Though it does show the grubbiness of under-funding, this is a first-rate example of second-string cinema which bravely touches on sensitive sociopolitical issues nearly always skirted by Hollywood at the time. THE WELL is often cited as "film noir", though I'd personally disagree...stylistically, there are minor distinctions to that effect, though the basal elements would render it an anomalous addition to the noir canon.

6.5/10


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