Storm Fear is a contrast of brothers, both of whom have failed in life. Cornel Wilde plays the `bad' brother, fleeing from a bank robbery. Dan Duryea is the `good' brother who can't come to grips with his own artistic and personal failures. I do not like Cornel Wilde, yet I found he created a sympathetic, very human `good-for-nothing', a surprisingly less intelligent role for a lead actor to play. Duryea, on the other hand, is much less sympathetic, perhaps because he is reaching for stars that are obviously out of his grasp. Jean Wallace is quite good as Duryea's wife and Wilde's former lover. She effectively straddles the worlds of both men. Steven Hill portrays the unstable member of Wilde's gang, but he doesn't seem quite sure how far to take his character at times.
This should have been more claustrophobic with 6 people cooped up in a house in a snow storm, but the script handles this nicely. The film gives the appearance of being an inexpensive production; yet, it makes the most of what is there in set, actors, etc. Wilde does a credible job of directing. Elmer Bernstein's score is a plus. The ending, however, is totally unsatisfactory, obviously bowing to conventions of the mid 50s when uncompromising films were not the norm.
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