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Split Second (1953)

 -  Crime | Drama | Film-Noir  -  2 May 1953 (USA)
6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 643 users  
Reviews: 28 user | 8 critic

Sam Hurley, "Nation's No. 1 killer" with a cold contempt for "heroes," escapes prison with two companions and takes a mixed bag of hostages to Nevada ghost town Lost Hope City. He knows ... See full summary »

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(screen play), (screen play), 2 more credits »
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Title: Split Second (1953)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Stephen McNally ...
Sam Hurley
...
Kay Garven
...
Dottie Vale
Keith Andes ...
Larry Fleming
Arthur Hunnicutt ...
Asa Tremaine
Paul Kelly ...
Bart Moore
Robert Paige ...
Arthur Ashton
Richard Egan ...
Doctor Neal Garven
...
Dummy (as Frank de Kova)
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Storyline

Sam Hurley, "Nation's No. 1 killer" with a cold contempt for "heroes," escapes prison with two companions and takes a mixed bag of hostages to Nevada ghost town Lost Hope City. He knows they won't be found there because an atom-bomb test is planned for next morning! Relationships shift and tension builds as Hurley keeps the others in suspense as to whether he will let them escape before bomb time. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

escape | nevada | hostage | ghost town | car | See more »

Taglines:

Steel Your Nerves! Here's excitement that will smash them! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

2 May 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Atomexplosion in Nevada  »

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

Hurley & gang are in the car driven by Kay Garven and her fur coat is laid over the seat. In an ensuing scene the coat is missing and is back in another scene. See more »

Quotes

Sam Hurley: You ever been locked up? Some people can stand it and some people can't. The ones who can't would kill themselves and anybody else just to get out for five minutes.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Skullduggery (1983) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Between the devil and the bright red bomb
11 April 2006 | by (Van Buren, Arkansas) – See all my reviews

The success of this film is due largely to Dick Powell's analogy that international violence is caused by many of the same forces that trigger personal violence. Some might say the nation is the individual writ large. His pairing a detonation of an atomic bomb in preparation for a possible conflagration that would eliminate the human race with the escape from prison of a perverted hostile trio of killers hiding out in a deserted western town is indeed inspired. Add to this a clever, telling script written largely by Irving Wallace, who knew how to make today's headlines into entertaining stories, and the result is a near classic film for its genre.

Some of the best lines are given to Jan Sterling in the role of a good-hearted showgirl, Dottie Vale, who has been ridden around the block a few times. At one point in carefree desperation, she states, "looks like we're caught between the devil and the bright red bomb." The ambiance of nonchalance permeates the entire picture and helps to lessen the tension caused by the split second count down to Armageddon for the trapped hostages. Even more humor is introduced with the character of Asa Tremaine, a desert rat who attempts to tell tale tales not unlike those of Gabby Hayes. Played by Arkansas native Arthur Hunnicutt (He's buried at Greenwood, Arkansas), Asa plays a pivotal role near the conclusion of the film. The rest of the cast is effective, particularly Stephen McNally who portrays the coldblooded killer with no morals, Sam Hurley.

The story involves an assortment of personalities who unwittingly end up kidnapped by three escaped killers, one of them mute. The root of the plot centers on the interaction among the characters when their lives are stripped bare with doomsday at 6:00 am the next morning. They hold up in an abandoned town waiting for a doctor who happens to be the husband of a two-timer who is traveling with her boyfriend, now held captive by the killers. There is much edge-of-the-seat suspense as the clock clicks away the minutes.


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