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Joseph H. Lewis
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Willy Loman is an over-the-hill salesman who faces a personal turning point when he loses his job and attempts to make peace with his family: Willy's long-suffering wife Linda, and Biff and Happy, his troubled sons and his life.
Eddie Shannon is an undersized, sports-car mechanic who dreams of racing an expensive car in a European meet. He meets and falls in love with Barbara Mathews, and thinks she loves him. She introduces him to Steve Norris and Harold Baker, who ask him to drive the getaway car in a bank robbery they are planning. He refuses, but changes his mind after some gentle persuasion from Barbara. The job is pulled off and, following a wild getaway, Eddie learns that Barbara was just using him and that Steve and Harold have plans to kill him. Gritty retribution is just around the corner. Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
I should say that "Drive a Crooked Road" probably won't hold your attention quite as much as most movies that I've seen. What's mostly eye-opening about it is just seeing Mickey Rooney in a gritty role in a film noir. He plays Eddie Shannon, a mechanic with little aim in life. The high points in his daily routine are when his co-workers ogle women walking by the shop. But when he gets mixed up with the wrong woman, he suddenly finds himself involved in a bank robbery with apparently no way out.
While some people might assert that Mickey Rooney was miscast here, I beg to differ. In this role, he shows that he can be something totally different from the "family-oriented" roles with which he's usually been associated (though I best remember him from "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" and "Night at the Museum"). This movie is approximately as gritty as the average film noir, and while it's not any kind of masterpiece, still worth seeing. As it's apparently not widely available on video or DVD, Portland's video/DVD store Movie Madness has a copy.
Also starring Kevin McCarthy (of "Invasion of the Body Snatchers") and Jerry Paris (the neighbor on "The Dick Van Dyke Show").
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