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20th Century-Fox put a lot of eggs in this 1953 film---3-D and stereophonic sound on prints for the few theatres equipped for that sound system in 1953, and the result was possibly the best 3-D film made during the craze. The basically-simple plot, in theory but more than that in execution, concerns a spoiled and alcoholic millionaire, Robert Ryan, who breaks his leg falling off of a horse, and is left to die in the desert by his cheating wife, Rhonda Fleming (born for Technicolor and 3-D), and her lover, William Lundigan. Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Early in the movie, after Robert Ryan has put a splint on his broken leg (which continues to cause him a lot of pain), he takes a small branch and breaks it over the injured leg, seemingly without feeling any pain. See more »
This is one of the few movies where Robert Ryan, a hard-driving, rich, and arrogant businessman, actually has the audience's sympathy. The gorgeous Rhonda Fleming plays his conniving and faithless wife who ruthlessly strands him in the desert with a broken leg. And Ms. Fleming is all-too-convincing in the bad-girl role. The movie centers on Ryan's thoughts, feelings, and actions as he attempts to survive this nightmarish ordeal. For awhile, his revenge fantasies are the only things keeping him going, but things change. Carl Betz and Larry Keating are quite good in pithy supporting roles. And, the suspense keeps our interest throughout. The makers of Cast Away should have watched this a few times before making their exercise in ennui, also about finding the will to survive in almost impossible circumstances.
Only one negative comment: William Lundigan is much too old and too refined as Fleming's lover-conspirator who gets a nasty attack of conscience late in the game. Someone rugged such as Rock Hudson (who was in his pre-Doris-Day days) or Lloyd Bridges, or even Chuck Connors would have been a much better choice.
That said, Inferno is a well-made and memorable film.
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