Russ Raymond, America's number one crooner, disappears and joins the Navy under the name Tommy Halstead. Dorothy Roberts, a magazine journalist, is intent on finding out what happened to ... See full summary »
The big national crime syndicate has moved into town, partnering up with local crime boss Nick Scanlon. There are only two problems: First, Nick is the violent type, preferring to do things... See full summary »
In Nazi Germany in 1936 seven men escape from a concentration camp. The camp commander puts up seven crosses and, as the Gestapo returns each escapee he is put to death on a cross. The ... See full summary »
Near a small Utah town, visiting lawyer David Hewson finds the slashed body of party girl Marcia Morgan, his fellow tenant at Parry Lodge. Sheriff Jess Holmes considers everyone at the motel a suspect, even owner Edmund Parry, a woman hater who is quadriplegic...or is he? While Holmes investigates and the suspects try to hide mutual fears, the killer strikes again... Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This late fifties whodunit has some interesting credits. It was directed by the able and eclectic Howard Koch, and features three quite different actresses in major roles,--Mamie Van Doren, Anne Bancroft and Marie Windsor. Suave character man John Dehner is cast as the local lawman; ex-Tarzan Lex Barker is the male lead; Stuart Whitman and Dan Blocker have small roles; and Barker wrote the music score. This is the only movie I have ever seen that features a murder suspect who is a bitter, woman-hating man, psychosomatically paralyzed from the neck down, who can't even pour his own drinks or light his own cigarettes. Ron Randell plays him marvelously, and had the film been directed by Ingmar Bergman would surely have won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar. I wouldn't quite call this movie trashy, but it has a trashy feel to it, as it comes across in some ways as a sort of Southwest version of Peyton Place crossed maybe with Anatomy Of a Murder, the small-town black and white mood of which it strangely anticipates. Everyone in this movie has a secret. The question is, whose secret is murder? The pacing isn't strong here, and the dialog is variable. William Margulies' photography is excellent, however; and the settings,--the motel resort and small desert town--are perfectly realized. There is a nice feeling for people whose lives have fallen just short of the big time, and who are angry about it. As a result, more than in most movies, everyone seems more than capable of being a killer. I especially like the sense of isolation in the film, and with it the edge of danger. As with so many crime pictures of its era, it seems to be trying to say something about American life, and how materialism and ambition are destroying it. With its acerbic invalid in one corner, and its muslceman in the other, and all the beautiful women gallivanting about and making life miserable for everyone, this one, with sharper writing and a sense of the absurd, might really have risen and become an Antonioni-like commentary on the American Dream. As it stands, it doesn't come close, though some of its characters and images linger in the mind long after its over.
35 of 43 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?