Johnny Damico botches a murder case and is suspended from the force. In reality, he is put undercover to identify the mysterious boss of the NY waterfront who has murdered everyone in his way. Will Johnny be next in line?
A wife convinces her husband to fake his death so they can collect on the life insurance. However, he doesn't know that she has been having an affair for some time, and she has plans for the money - and they don't include him.
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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.
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