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When his son Andy is kidnapped and held for ransom, David Stannard liquidates his assets to meet the half-million dollar demand. A casual remark by newspaper reporter Charlie Telfer makes him change his mind. Despite the pleas from his wife Edith and brother Al, and the resultant condemnation of the press and public, Stannard goes on a nation-wide television program, displays the money and warns the kidnapper that not one cent will be paid for ransom; instead the money will be used to track down the kidnapper if Andy isn't returned unharmed. The police then find the boy's blood-stained shirt. Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
"Ransom!" is an unpretentious film that comes out as an excellent thriller. It is also one of the few movies made by director Alex Segal (who did most of his work for television) and he does a prolix and correct job with the story of a wealthy man whose little boy is kidnapped for ransom and decides not to take the easy way; instead o paying the money demanded by the kidnappers he offers it all for their capture dead of alive.
What is interesting and "catching" here is that all you see of the villains is one hand that holds a cigarette, but there is no need for more to keep tension and thrill high all along.
There's a very good performance from Glenn Ford and Donna Reed as the parents of the abducted kid for whom their happy life turns into hell in a matter of hours. Ford has to deal not only with the kidnappers but also with his wife, family, friends and neighbors who are against the man's decision considered as a risky one for his son's life.
Although probably youngsters will prefer the more recent Mel Gibson/Rene Russo version -more an action film than a real thriller- I think this one is superior with his mysterious villains and truly dark atmosphere all along with not one single gun shot is fired. In any case this version is a more difficult product to achieve since it focuses more on dialogues, desperation and characters psychology.
Not a classic film perhaps but a very good one indeed, most watchable and enjoyable.
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