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Although it has its moments, "Twelve Hours to Kill" is pretty much a
by- the-numbers wannabe "noir" with little imagination, style or flair,
hampered by a poor script, leaden direction and overwrought
performances by lead actor Nico Minardos and several supporting actors
(although Barbara Eden, as the romantic interest, is actually quite
good). The story is about a Greek immigrant who witnesses a mob hit and
flees to a small town with a pair of hit men after him, and finds out
that that the case not only involves murder but police corruption. A
director like Phil Karlson or Don Siegel could have made this into a
crackerjack thriller, but under longtime hack Edward L. Cahn it's
strictly routine. Minardos isn't a strong enough actor to carry a
picture, and even if he was the lame script would defeat him.
Other than a young and very pretty Barbara Eden, about the only reason to watch this picture is to see an early glimpse of Gavin McLeod and Ted Knight, later to be such memorable adversaries on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and playing adversaries here, with McLeod as a hit-man and Knight as a cop. Otherwise, there's really no need to spend any time watching this.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
That's one of those Edward L Cahn films I waited to see since so many
years, and that disappointed me. A flat plot about gangsters witnessed
by Greek immigrants during their crime. The usual tale of police force
which must protect the poor witnesses. Sleepy at the most. I don't
recommend it; except for the most desperate Edward L cahn fans.
However, he showed us in the past that he could do much better. But in that purpose, he had to have a solid script, good actors and a competent producer too.
Keep in mind that when you are to see a film directed by Edward L Cahn, you have to expect the worst of every thing you have ever seen.
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