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Highway Dragnet (1954) – The Blu Review

Review by Roger Carpenter

Jim Henry (Richard Conte) is a decorated soldier who has just returned from the Korean War. Making his way across the country to California, he’s stopped over in Vegas to visit an Army friend. While killing time until his dinner date he cozies up to a pretty blonde in a bar before the two argue very publicly. The next day finds Jim hitchhiking out of Vegas when he is arrested by the police—for the murder of the girl he fought with the night before. Jim claims he can prove his innocence but his Army pal, on a classified mission, has disappeared, along with Jim’s alibi. Feeling railroaded, Jim manages to escape the clutches of Detective White Eagle (Reed Hadley) to go on the run.

While on the road he meets two ladies, a high-class photographer, Mrs. Cummings (Joan Bennett), and her assistant, the
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Highway Dragnet

Here’s something odd: the formative feature in Roger Corman’s proto- career. Roger gets credits for Story and Associate Producer, and learned what he needed to learn to produce two movies of his own in the same year. The modest crime thriller sees Richard Conte involved with three women during a chase on dusty desert roads: noir star Joan Bennett and young Wanda Hendrix are a suspicious pair, but special guest Hot Number Mary Beth Hughes all but steals the show.

Highway Dragnet


Kl Studio Classics

1954 / B&W / 1:66 widescreen / 70 min. / Street Date March 20, 2018 / available through Kino Lorber / 29.95

Starring: Richard Conte, Joan Bennett, Wanda Hendrix, Mary Beth Hughes, Reed Hadley, Iris Adrian.

Cinematography: John Martin

Film Editor: Ace Herman

Written by Herb Meadow, Jerome Oldlum from a story by U.S. Andersen, Roger Corman

Produced by Jack Jungmeyer, William F. Broidy (executive), A. Robert Nunes & Roger Corman (associates)

Directed by
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Top Screenwriting Team from the Golden Age of Hollywood: List of Movies and Academy Award nominations

Billy Wilder directed Sunset Blvd. with Gloria Swanson and William Holden. Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett movies Below is a list of movies on which Charles Brackett and Billy Wilder worked together as screenwriters, including efforts for which they did not receive screen credit. The Wilder-Brackett screenwriting partnership lasted from 1938 to 1949. During that time, they shared two Academy Awards for their work on The Lost Weekend (1945) and, with D.M. Marshman Jr., Sunset Blvd. (1950). More detailed information further below. Post-split years Billy Wilder would later join forces with screenwriter I.A.L. Diamond in movies such as the classic comedy Some Like It Hot (1959), the Best Picture Oscar winner The Apartment (1960), and One Two Three (1961), notable as James Cagney's last film (until a brief comeback in Milos Forman's Ragtime two decades later). Although some of these movies were quite well received, Wilder's later efforts – which also included The Seven Year Itch
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The Criterion Collection: Ride the Pink Horse | Blu-ray Review

Robert Montgomery’s 1947 sophomore film, Ride the Pink Horse is an exciting film noir gem ripe for rediscovery, available on Blu-ray for the first time courtesy of Criterion’s digital restoration. Best known as a comedic actor and Oscar nominated for roles in Night Must Fall (1937) and Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941), Montgomery would eventually direct a handful of titles mostly neglected by the passage of time with the exception of his first directorial credit, the experimental noir Lady in the Lake (as the film is presented entirely from the point of view of its protagonist, as if we’re looking directly through his eyes), an adaptation of a Raymond Chandler novel. Lady premiered earlier in the very same year, and though it is often referenced for its structural technique, it’s his follow-up title that’s more impressive, as unique and off kilter as its enigmatic title.

Former GI Lucky
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'Top Five', 'Annie', 'Exodus', 'Penguins of Madagascar' and More On DVD & Blu-ray This Week

Top Five Chris Rock's movie was one of the better comedies last year and it took me a couple times to realize this so definitely give it a chance and after that first viewing, if you aren't entirely convinced, give it a second spin.

Penguins of Madagascar Never saw it, never intend to. However, the penguin characters were the best part of the first two Madagascar movies, which in and of themselves, weren't very good.

Ride the Pink Horse (Criterion Collection) I have a copy of this, but haven't yet watched it, though I'm looking forward to it and will share some thoughts down the road. For now, here's Criterion's description: Hollywood actor turned idiosyncratic auteur Robert Montgomery directs and stars in this striking crime drama based on a novel by Dorothy B. Hughes. He plays a tough-talking former GI who comes to a small New Mexico town to
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Blu-ray Review: "Ride The Pink Horse" (1947) Starring Robert Montgomery And Thomas Gomez; Criterion Blu-ray Special Edition

  • CinemaRetro
“Border Town Noir”

By Raymond Benson

Most film noir pictures take place in urban centers—New York City, Los Angeles—where the big city is as much a character as the unhappy humans in these often bleak and brutal, sometimes brilliant, Hollywood crime films that spanned the early forties to the late fifties. Film noir peaked in the latter half of the forties, with an abundance of the classic titles released between 1946-1948.

One of the more unique things about Ride the Pink Horse is that the urban setting is gone. Instead, the action is set in a border town in New Mexico, where there is indeed danger, to be sure, but there’s also a little less pessimism among the inhabitants—unlike in the urban noirs in which everyone’s a cynic. Interestingly, one might say that the “border town noir” could be a sub-set of the broader category,
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‘Ride the Pink Horse’ rides hard and strong with its unique interpretation of film noir

Ride the Pink Horse

Written by Ben Hecht, Charles Lederer

Directed by Robert Montgomery

U.S.A., 1947

Set in the small New Mexican town of San Pablo during a locally popular festival, actor-director Robert Montgomery’s Ride the Pink Horse begins as a lonely stranger, Gagin (Montgomery), arrives in town by bus, takes a moment at the station to rent a locker into which he stashes a cheque, and then commences his search for one Frank Hugo (Fred Clark), wealthy businessman and the one responsible for the death of Gagin’s wartime friend. More than claim vengeance through blood, Gagin concocts a scheme to blackmail Frank, the aforementioned cheque holding particular importance in the ordeal. A stubbornly stern individual, Gagin is not easy to make friends with, but in a town where almost everybody is after his skin, including Frank, the latter’s main squeeze Marjorie (Andrea King) and FBI
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Rex Bell Jr Dead at 76: Son of Clara Bow and Rex Bell

Rex Bell Jr, son of silent-film superstar Clara Bow (right) and cowboy actor Rex Bell, died of cancer on Saturday, July 9. He was 76. A former Republican Lieutenant Governor and Clark County (Las Vegas and surrounding areas) district attorney who believed in long sentences and more and bigger prisons, Bell Jr didn't have much of a career in films. He appeared in only a couple of run-of-the-mill A. C. Lyles Westerns in the mid-'60s, Stage to Thunder Rock (1964) and Young Fury (1965). At that time, Paramount producer Lyles used faded stars — and children of faded stars — in his series of B Westerns: Stage to Thunder Rock features Barry Sullivan, Marilyn Maxwell, Lon Chaney Jr, Wanda Hendrix, and John Agar; in addition to Chaney and Agar, Young Fury has Virginia Mayo, Rory Calhoun, Richard Arlen, Merry Anders, and Jody McCrea, son of Joel McCrea and Frances Dee. Clara Bow died at the
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Robert Stack TCM Schedule

Robert Stack on TCM: The Tarnished Angels, The Mortal Storm Schedule (Pt) and synopses from the TCM website: 3:00 Am Date With Judy, A (1948) A teenager thinks her grandfather is involved with a fiery Latin singer. Cast: Wallace Beery, Jane Powell, Elizabeth Taylor. Dir: Richard Thorpe. C-113 mins. 5:00 Am Fighter Squadron (1948) A dedicated flyer pushes himself and those around him during a perilous World War II campaign. Cast: Edmond O’Brien, Robert Stack, Rock Hudson. Dir: Raoul Walsh. C-95 mins. 6:45 Am My Outlaw Brother (1951) A ranger tries to pry his brother from the Mexican bandit gang he’s joined. Cast: Mickey Rooney, Wanda Hendrix, Robert Stack. Dir: Elliott Nugent. Bw-82 mins. 8:15 Am Bwana Devil (1952) A British railway engineer in Kenya tries to capture the lions attacking his workers. Cast: Robert Stack, Barbara Britton, Nigel Bruce. Dir: Arch Oboler. C-79 mins. 9:45 Am Iron Glove, The (1954) [...]
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Robert Stack on TCM: The Tarnished Angels, The Mortal Storm

Lloyd Bridges, Robert Stack, Airplane! Robert Stack is one of those actors I know but at the same time I don’t. I’ve watched many of his movies, but despite his good looks my focus while watching them was almost invariably on somebody or something else: Carole Lombard, Jennifer Jones, Joan Crawford, Dorothy Malone, Farrah Fawcett, Peter Graves, an inflatable doll. (Gotta add I’ve never seen Stack’s Elliot Ness.) Hopefully that can be rectified — minus The Untouchables omission, of course — on Monday, Aug. 16, as Turner Classic Movies will be showing no less than fourteen Stack films as part of its "Summer Under the Stars" series. [Full Robert Stack schedule.] Among those are six TCM premieres. They are: William Castle‘s period adventure The Iron Glove (1954); Bwana Devil (1952), notable as the first 3D feature distributed by a major Hollywood studio; My Outlaw Brother (1951), co-starring Mickey Rooney and Wanda Hendrix; [...]
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

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