Joan Collins, Jayne Mansfield and Dan Dailey star in this engaging drama based on a novel by John Steinbeck. Three strangers - a stripper (Mansfield), an alcoholic wife (Collins) and a ... See full summary »
A military nurse recovering at an inn from a nervous breakdown keeps having dreams where she sees two men trying to murder a third. When she meets a man who is a federal agent at the inn, ... See full summary »
Three thieves rip off a shipment of used money being sent back to the US. As they are escaping the robbery (after having taken a hostage), they wind up on an island in a hotel with an ... See full summary »
A businessman plans to solve his tax problems by financing a film version of "Romeo and Juliet". He hires Maurice Chevalier and Jayne Mansfield to play the title roles, and Akim Tamiroff to... See full summary »
In 1896 it is announced that the Olympic Games will be revived in Athens. A young shepherd, Spiridon Loues, decides to enter the 26-mile marathon. Once in Athens, he meets Christina Gratsos... See full summary »
A renowned and relentless Paris detective takes his first vacation in eleven years at a small inn in the French countryside. There he meets and falls in love with the hotelier's daughter, ... See full summary »
Joseph H. Lewis
Producer Louis W. Kellman had difficulty finding a buyer for the film. Finally, Columbia Pictures chief Harry Cohn said that he would do Kellman "a favor" and "take it off his hands" if the film's director, Paul Wendkos, was part of the deal. See more »
The 1951 Chevy driven by Nat Harbin is described as "light gray" over the police radio and in the teletype voice-over, yet the description on the teletype reads that the car is "green." See more »
This is one of those extravagantly stylized late-period noirs, one which palpitates with flamboyant cinematic technique. It belongs in the same club as those other exaggerated, self-consciously arty noirs of the late 50s/early 60s, like Touch of Evil, Kiss Me Deadly, Blast of Silence and Sam Fuller's contemporaneous contributions to the genre. Wendkos directs like a recent A+ film school graduate showing off every Hitchcock and Welles trick he's learned -- there are many stunning edits (he is also credited as the film's editor), several strikingly composed shots, and a suitably seedy background (the fact that the crooks' hideout is right next to a railway line full of speeding streamliners is a boon). At the same time, he toes the studio line of narrative clarity and cohesive action scenes enough to make this suitable viewing for the non-buff (one can see why he spent most of his years in television, but at the same time could dazzle with over-the-top effects in The Mephisto Waltz.) Fans of Atlantic City's Steel Pier are in for a treat in the film's climax (which owes a bit too much to The Lady from Shanghai) -- we even get to see the diving horse. But notably, we also see the soggy marshes that border the city and reflect the protagonists' own situational quagmire. It may not have the integrity of the more subtly devastating noirs of the Siodmak 40s, but it has its own postmodern tradition to uphold. It's worth picking this one up even on the third-generation dupes that are now in circulation; a wide-screen dvd restoration is definitely in order.
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