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Highway Dragnet (1954)

Passed | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 27 January 1954 (USA)
Wrongly accused of killing a bar-girl he was seen with earlier, a Korean War vet flees from the police in the company of a woman photographer and her young female model.

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 4 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Jim Henry
...
Mrs. Cummings
...
Susan Willis
...
Det. Lt. Joe White Eagle
...
Terry Smith
...
Dolly
...
Mr. Carson
Tom Hubbard ...
Det. Sgt. Ben Barnett
...
Marine in Civvies
...
Ice Cream Truck Driver
...
Trooper in Cafe
...
Steve
...
Elderly Border Inspection Officer
...
Chubby Border Inspection Officer (as Tony Hughes)
Bill Hale ...
Harry
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Storyline

Mrs. Cummings, a free-lance magazine photographer and a recent widow after her husband committed suicide, and her model, Susan, are on an assignment to cover resorts California and Nevada. Driving west from Las Vegas they pick up Jim Henry, a recently-discharged Marine, who is hitchhiking to the home of a friend near the Salton Sea. Meanwhile, back in Las Vegas, a blonde known casually by Jim, is found murdered. Jim becomes the object of a manhunt directed by Police-Lieut. White Eagle of the Las Vegas police. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

SHOCK AFTER SHOCK...MILE AFTER MILE...in Las Vegas' sizzling manhunt for thrill-killers! (original 6-sheet poster) See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

27 January 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The House in the Sea  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The car Jim, Mrs. Cummings, and Susan drive in the desert is a 1953 Dodge Coronet Sierra station wagon. See more »

Goofs

At the camp fire in the desert, Jim put his .45 caliber pistol on the rock with the barrel pointing away from the fire, but subsequent views of the gun show the barrel point toward the camp fire. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Directors: The Films of Roger Corman (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Roger Corman's First Gig
5 June 2015 | by (Claremont,USA) – See all my reviews

Interesting chase drama. That opening bar scene with Conte and Hughes is a tacky gem. Too bad Hughes disappears much too soon. And where else can you find two of Hollywood's best cheap blondes, Hughes and Iris Adrian, in the same film. Too bad they don't have a scene together to see who can out-cheap the other.

Anyhow, Conte's escaping across the desert from Las Vegas cops for a murder he didn't commit. Along the way he dragoons two women, Bennett and Hendix, as sometimes helpers, sometimes hostages. The movie's real star, however, is a four-wheel hunk of junk that's a real trouper. That it can roll at all amounts to a Detroit miracle. But why someone would drive it off-road into the desert is a genuine puzzle. And that's a problem with the movie as a whole. It starts off well, but becomes a mounting stretch over time, especially movie star Bennett in her flowing white gown that never gets any dirtier despite a trip across the elements. Good thing Conte's there to carry the show. Too bad he didn't give Hendrix some acting lessons.

Credit some producer, maybe Roger Corman in his first gig, for filming doggedly on location. Those desert and Salton Sea stagings really help hold the flick together. Plus, someone had an eye on trends of the day. The title "Highway Dragnet" combines parts from two of the most successful TV crime series of the time, Namely "Dragnet" and "Highway Patrol". Then add cop Reed Hadley from "Racket Squad", and you've got a cross-section of early 50's thick- ear, which I'm sure didn't hurt attendance.

All in all, it's a pretty good little flick. Then too it's the only film, A or B, that I've seen where the happy couple repairs at movie's end to a run-down house half under water! So Hollywood can come up with new wrinkles, after all.


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