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The first of the five films where Bill Elliott played a detective lieutenant in the L.A Sheriff's department, Dial Red "O" (the correct title with the number 0 (zero), as on a telephone dial, shown in ") opens with war-torn veteran Ralph Wyatt getting word that his wife is divorcing him, and he flees the psychiatric ward of the veteran's hospital, wanting to talk to her. His escape touches off an all-out manhunt, led by Lieutenant Andy Flynn of the sheriff's department. Wyatt's wife, Connie is having an affair with Norman Roper, a judo expert in Wyatt's old Marine unit. When Roper refuses to divorce his own wife (Regina Gibson) to marry Connie, they have a violent quarrel in Connie's apartment. Roper kills Connie and incriminates Wyatt, who is arrested and held on suspicion of homicide. Convinced that Roper is the real murderer, Wyatt escapes from his cell in the Hollywood Sheriff's office, and goes to Roper's home. Lt. Flynn has discovered evidence pointing to Roper as the killer, ... Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I was a little disappointed in "Dial Red O" but maybe I was expecting too much. It has a pretty lofty rating and was reviewed by 2 other contributors who usually know their stuff. I guess I just didn't like it as much as they did.
On the title page it's labeled a mystery but there's not much mystery here. It's a pretty straightforward story about an escaped mental patient/ ex-GI who gets framed for his wife's murder. As we see, one of his old service buddies kills her and tries to pin it on him. So much for mystery.
The acting is solid, with one of my old western heroes, Bill Elliott, playing Lt. Doyle who is in charge of the case. Keith Larsen is the framed war hero and Paul Picerni is his 'buddy'. The story is pretty routine and chugs along to the finish. I was beginning to think Elliott had lost his hair, as he wears his fedora constantly indoors and out, except for one scene in which he is rousted out of bed via a phone call.
No surprises here, just your Police Department in action. I would like to see the others in this series, but I'm not hopeful as I had so much trouble getting a hold of this one.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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