Wayne Randall, a safe-cracker,and his two accomplices, Jan Spencer and Dino Michaelis, are hiding in the mountains of northern California, following a heist of a $81,000 payroll at a ...
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Wayne Randall, a safe-cracker,and his two accomplices, Jan Spencer and Dino Michaelis, are hiding in the mountains of northern California, following a heist of a $81,000 payroll at a lumber-mill. It only takes less than an hour to prove that honor-among-thieves runs a long-distance second to greed-among-thieves. Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
An Associated Producers Production, copyright 1960. Released through 20th Century-Fox Film Corp. No New York opening. U.S. release: May 1960. U.K. release: June 1960. Australian release: 5 May 1960. Approx. 6,390 feet. 71 minutes. This full-length version was released in England and Australia. In the U.S., the movie was cut down to 62 minutes.
SYNOPSIS: In Northern California's Redwood country, Jan Spencer, her lover Wayne Randall, and a third accomplice, Dino Michaelis, lay plans to rob the payroll of a large lumber company. Jan is employed at the lumber mill and while working overtime on a weekend, she smuggles the two men into the mill by hiding them in the back seat of her car. As the two men are breaking into the safe, Jan is surprised by her romantically-inclined boss, Dave Harris, who insists upon having lunch with her. When Wayne and Dino get the payroll and then cannot find Jan and her car, they steal the watchman's car and make their getaway, though Wayne is wounded in the leg. The three thieves meet again at Jan's apartment but by now they have begun to plot against each other.
VIEWERS' GUIDE for full-length version: Okay for all. Suitability of American version unknown.
COMMENT: Despite fine location black-and-white CinemaScope photography by Kay Norton (the only female cinematographer who ever worked for a major Hollywood studio), this thriller fails to generate much suspense. The players are hard-working, but the screenplay by actor Leo Gordon and another, allows no opportunities for the cast to develop their characters, let alone engage audience sympathy. Their efforts are also undermined by an inappropriately strident jazz music score that's far from the sort of unobtrusively atmospheric help this film needs. William N. Witney's rather static direction doesn't help either.
OTHER VIEWS: An amoral toughie, cramped for the most part indoors and only incidentally making use of its steamy, grandiose location of giant trees... Tension is somewhat lowered by a ragged and unlikely plot, superficial characterization and an over-loud and repetitive jazz score by Buddy Bregman. Monthly Film Bulletin.
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