Nick and his partner Al stage a payroll holdup. Al is shot and Nick kills a policeman. Nick hides out at a public pool, where he meets Peg Dobbs. They go back to her apartment and he forces her family to hide him from the police manhunt.
As a train speeds through the Arizona night, a man posing as a physician holds up the baggage-car crew and escapes with a $500,000 payroll. The fake doctor, Paul Bruckner, leaves the train ... See full summary »
While waiting on a delayed flight, David Trask, who has left his unfaithful wife, meets three of his fellow passengers. When the aircraft crashes, he is one of few survivors, and sets out to resolve their unfinished business.
After a wild night, wealthy Michael Reston's adulterous wife Charleen comes home with her ripe young body barely concealed by a dress in rags; murder results. Top defense lawyer J.G. Blane, whose own marriage exists in name only, arrives in Desert View, Nevada to find the townsfolk and politically powerful Sheriff Hoak distinctly hostile to the Restons. In due course, Blane discovers he's been "taken for a ride," and that quiet desert communities can be deadly... Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
When hired gun New York lawyer James Blane (Jeff Chandler) is brought in to Desert View, Nevada to defend Michael Reston and his vampy wife Charleen (Phillip Reed & Elaine Stewart) on murder charges, he finds himself accused of jury tampering. Blane, a less than exemplary role model with a dubious past, must fight over local prejudice and the town's political power-broker Sheriff Nick Hoak (Jack Carson) to prove his innocence. With the help of his estranged wife Diane (Jeanne Crain)Blane works to unearth the town's secrets and unravel the crime.
"The Tattered Dress" is one of the many medium budget releases cranked out to fill growing demand in the 1950's created by the expansion of the drive-in movie. Universal International Pictures was a major player in that space. Universal International was able to assemble casts of slightly off the A-list and presumed over-the-hill stars into some very good movies. "The Tattered Dress" is one of those. The cast of this movie is excellent. After watching a few movies with Elaine Stewart it's hard to understand why she never quite made that transition to major stardom. She had a screen presence as did Gail Russell who carries her part off to perfection in one her last big screen appearances.
Since this movie shows up in Film Noir titles it will get criticism from purist Noir Fans, which is unfair to this movie. By 1957 visually classic Film Noir Movie was a thing of the past. "The Tattered Dress" is a 1950's style, slightly salacious, crime melodrama. The style of this movie lies somewhere between The Postman Rings Twice and Peyton Place. Taken for what it is, "The Tattered Dress" is 93 minutes of decent entertainment.
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