Bill Fleming is upset that his wife is having an affair with Philip Baxter, the most recent of a long line of lovers. Bill is an ex-boxer and an outdoors man and nothing would give him more... See full summary »
Bill Fleming is upset that his wife is having an affair with Philip Baxter, the most recent of a long line of lovers. Bill is an ex-boxer and an outdoors man and nothing would give him more pleasure than to wring Baxter's neck. When he mentions to his fishing pal that he has a large collection of dueling weapons, his buddy suggests that he challenge Baxter to a duel. He tells Bill that under California law, you get special treatment in the courts if you kill someone in a duel. Little does Bill realize that his fishing pal had a purpose in giving Bill the advice he did. Written by
Aging roughneck (Douglas) is openly two-timed by faithless young wife (Heath) and pacifist friend (Marlowe). Smart young lawyer (Morse) suggests a duel, which is exempted from punishment by California law, a duel that Douglas is bound to win. So, what will the aging millionaire do.
That opening scene is overlong and talky, but is fascinating for its dueling acting styles regular guy Douglas vs. man of a thousand nervous tics Morse. Then too, catch Dodie Heath's shapely young wife, who's obviously turned on by the prospect of violence. Sadly, Douglas was to die of a heart attack a couple short months after this episode. Considering what he's called on to do here, did all the exertion (no apparent double) add to his condition. He was so good at being the likable roughneck. There's some suspense and a nicely calculated Hitchcock ending. At the same time ace director Brahm makes good dramatic use of that cavernous livingroom. Otherwise, it's a fairly routine entry.
(In passingHitch's wrap-around mocks the hit TV series Zorro whose rapier wielding swordsman etched the opening title of each entry.)
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