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Make Haste to Live (1954)

Approved | | Drama, Film-Noir, Thriller | 25 March 1954 (USA)
Crystal 'Chris' Benson, a single mother in a small New Mexico town, senses a shadowy menace stalking her in the night. She acquires a gun and makes arrangements anticipating her own death, ... See full summary »

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(novel), (novel) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Crystal Benson
...
Steve Blackford
...
Randy Benson
...
Sheriff Lafe
...
Josh Blake
...
John 'Hack' Hackenthal
Pepe Hern ...
Rudolfo Gonzáles
...
'Spud' Kelly
...
Mary Rose
Rosa Turich ...
Juana
...
Carlos
...
Mother
William Bailey ...
Ed Jenkins
...
Mrs. Gonzales
Bob Carney ...
Round-Faced Man
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Storyline

Crystal 'Chris' Benson, a single mother in a small New Mexico town, senses a shadowy menace stalking her in the night. She acquires a gun and makes arrangements anticipating her own death, tape-recording a message for her teenage daughter which (in flashback) tells of her involvement with Steve Blackford, who has very good reason to hate her. Chris is determined and resourceful, but Steve has had 18 years to plan revenge. Doom closes in... Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

WHO IS THIS MAN...Is he out of her past...or is he a killer in the night! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

25 March 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Negro es mi pasado  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.65 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Southwestern noir grows muddled, implausible
11 March 2002 | by (Western New York) – See all my reviews

The spooky opening sequence piques our appetite for Make Haste to Live. A sinister stranger looms in the bedroom where Dorothy McGuire tosses in restive sleep. The editor of a small-town newspaper in the New Mexico desert, she's being stalked by her husband, a gangster just released from the pen for murder -- HER murder. Seems that years before, in Chicago, a woman was killed in an rigged explosion; when the body was identified as hers, McGuire packed up and started a new life.

But having set up this intriguing situation, Make Haste to Live loses its way and ends up a muddled mess. When the husband (Steven McNally) insinuates himself into the household of McGuire and their teenage daughter, he's passed off as a black-sheep brother. And credulity gets strained way past the snapping point. McGuire flip-flops between resourceful adversary and the most feckless of battered wives; at times the two roil with hatred for one another but at others a light flirtatiousness enters their interactions. Any valid psychology in this, however, isn't worked out in dramatic terms; we get no sense of the hold McNally has over his wife, only that he wants to kill her and she seems willing to die.

A Bottomless Pit in an old Indian pueblo makes an early appearance but doesn't end up playing the role we come to expect it will; so the final resolution is contrived, coming not out of character but out of the blue. Moseying along from one thing to another, Make Haste to Live has no urgent destination in mind.


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