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Split Second (1953)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 2 May 1953 (USA)
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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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Sam Hurley
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Kay Garven
...
Dottie Vale
...
Larry Fleming
...
Asa Tremaine
...
Bart Moore
Robert Paige ...
Arthur Ashton
...
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>

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Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

2 May 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Atomexplosion in Nevada  »

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Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Opening credits: The characters and events depicted in this photoplay are fictional. Any similarity to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. See more »

Goofs

Considering the level of security around the test site, including the number of roadblocks set up to keep people away, how did Dr. Garven manage to drive into the ghost town seemingly unimpeded? See more »

Quotes

Larry Fleming: Well, Colonel, when you've seen one atom bomb, you've seen them all.
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Connections

Referenced in Skullduggery (1983) See more »

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User Reviews

 
tense drama about escaped prisoners and their hostages
8 July 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Dick Powell directed "Split Second," a B movie starring Stephen McNally, Jan Sterling, Alexis Smith, Richard Egan, and Keith Andes, about prisoners and their hostages at an atomic test site. McNally, meaner than dirt, escapes from prison with two cronies, one of whom has been badly wounded. At a gas station, they carjack Alexis Smith and her boyfriend. Before long, they have four hostages: Keith Andes, who plays a reporter, and Jan Sterling, who hitched a ride with him. They all wind up on an atomic bomb test site, and there's a test set for the next day. Since Smith's husband is a doctor, McNally calls him and threatens him with Smith's life so he will come and save the wounded escapee.

Seen with modern eyes, the friendship between McNally and his injured pal is something to behold. McNally is a cruel tough guy who becomes gentle when speaking to his friend, and he's determined not to leave him behind. Hmm...Smith plays a desperate, selfish society woman who will do anything - underline anything - to get McNally to take her along when he leaves, and in fact, they have a protracted time together in another room. She's a real piece of work. Richard Egan is her husband, who arrives to help the wounded prisoner.

Keith Andes was a handsome man whose major career was in television, and his beautiful singing voice and masculine presence brought him Broadway success as well, particularly costarring with Lucille Ball in "Wildcat." He does a good job here, as does Jan Sterling - they are two people caught in bad circumstances who happen to fall in love along the way. McNally is as nasty as they come - another fine performance of a low-life.

Dick Powell's direction has a sure hand, and the tension mounts as the film continues. A very good B movie, but not really noir as has been suggested.


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